Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
ENVIRONMENT, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Priscah Mupfumira has urged Zimbabweans in the diaspora to return home and invest in various sectors of the economy for the development of the country.
The Minister is leading a delegation presently holding a countrywide diaspora homecoming roadshow in the United Kingdom aimed at increasing arrivals and heightening investor appetite on destination Zimbabwe.
Addressing a reception hosted by Zimbabweans in Leeds, Minister Mupfumira said:
“Together we can make the Zimbabwe we wish to see only if we focus on the best we can offer to our beautiful homeland.
“Our call is to reason together and most importantly put our heads together to strategise on the best we can all do to foster the development of Zimbabwe, particularly in attaining the vision enunciated by the President — of rebuilding and transforming Zimbabwe into an upper-middle class economy by 2030. This can never be achieved without commonality and a shared purpose.”
Minister Mupfumira also alluded to the renewed and rejuvenated interest that Zimbabwe has been receiving since the consummation of the Second Republic which has seen major strides and milestones not only in the tourism sector but the different facets of the economy in general.
She lamented the missing diaspora participation and involvement in an array of investment opportunities the country proffers.
In a statement, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Head of Corporate Affairs, Mr Godrey Koti, said Minister Mupfumira further emphasised the significant role played by the diaspora community in the development of any country particularly in their indispensable contribution to tourism promotion, foreign currency generation, employment creation and the national income.
He said the road show will see Minister Mupfumira launching the inaugural edition of the ZimThrive initiative which will see a congregation of diasporans in Zimbabwe from different source markets in April 2020.
“Additionally and more significantly, Zimbabwe turns 40 next year as well, through its theme, Homecoming, ZimThrive seeks to bring the world together to collaborate, create and innovate in areas that include tourism, business and entertainment.
“It will also aim to enhance social mobility and sustainability. ZimThrive 2020 is also to be a catalyst for other business and community projects locally,” Mr Koti said.
In line with driving investment opportunities into the country, Zim Thrive is working with its partners, international participants, businesses, innovators and influencers to develop the ground-breaking venture and to engage with alumni from a wide range of local learning institutions.
In her presentation on tourism investment opportunity areas at the Diaspora reception in Leeds, ZTA acting chief executive officer Mrs Rita Likukuma counselled the Diasporans on the importance of their involvement no matter how small they view the contribution.
“No investment is too small, our wish is to see all our Diasporans investing and be involved in the varied opportunities that Zimbabwe offers.
“With the accounted Diasporans population of 123 000 as reported by the United Kingdom National Statistics Office (NSO) 2018, if one of this invest as little as 10 dollars, that will be a massive contribution,” she said.
Government through ZTA is in the process of finalising a Diaspora Tourism Strategy that should help Zimbabwe to meaningfully tap into obtainable opportunities particularly the UK market.
It is hoped that Diasporans could consider and capitalise on investment prospects such as the Special Economic Zones, Transfrontier Conservation Areas, hospitality, meetings and conferencing, energy and power. — @okazunga