Zimbabwe cabinet member Saviour Kasukuwere delivered an addressed on the real meaning behind African empowerment and indigenization., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Monday, 01 October 2012 00:00
INDIGENISATION of foreign-owned businesses in Zimbabwe is critical for security of the investments, Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has said. Speaking at the Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals Annual Conference and Financial Sector Awards in Sandton, South Africa last week Minister Kasukuwere said a development model that excludes indigenous people was not sustainable.
He said it was in the interest of foreign investors to ensure that at least 51 percent of their investment was in the hands of Zimbabweans, in line with Government policy on indigenisation and empowerment.
“A development model anchored on foreign investment only and does not include meaningful involvement of indigenous Zimbabweans is socially, economically and politically unsustainable,” he said.
“Foreign investors should partner with Zimbabweans in business to ensure security of investment and ensure Zimbabweans benefit from their resources and achieve their national aspirations,” he said.
The empowerment minister made the remarks during a discussion on economic and business opportunities available in Zimbabwe and how indigenisation was impacting on businesses in the country.
Some foreign investors have adopted a wait-and-see attitude because of perceived policy uncertainties, particularly on indigenisation.
Others have not hesitated to take the plunge.
Minister Kasukuwere cited investments by Indian firm Essar, ADC of Germany (Ecobank), Mwana Africa (BNC), Anjin (Chiadzwa), Sinosteel of China (Zimasco) and South Africa’s Implats (Zimplats), as only some of the success story of indigenisation.
These, he said, had seen that indigenisation brought security to foreign investment, that shares were sold rather than expropriated, that investors identified their partners and that localisation through employee and community share ownership schemes demonstrated commitment to development of workers and communities.
Minister Kasukuwere implored foreign investors to consider Zimbabwe, saying offshore investment presented the economy with opportunities for increased production, increased employment, development of infrastructure and new technologies.
Furthermore, he said, a prosperous Zimbabwe generated growth in the economies of other regional countries, especially Sadc members.
“Therefore, the nation of Zimbabwe calls upon foreign investors to take the opportunities presented by the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Programme to partner with the Zimbabweans in all sectors of the economy for mutual economic benefits.
“Partnering with indigenous Zimbabweans demonstrates the investor’s commitment to the development of Zimbabwe,” he said.
Minister Kasukuwere called on investors to consider Zimbabwe because of its vast mineral potential, skilled, competitive and highly literate population, good land and conditions for all-year agriculture, excellent tourism facility and standard basic infrastructure.
The indigenisation and economic empowerment agenda is the expression of the economic aspirations of indigenous Zimbabweans, who, after achieving political independence, now seek to attain economic freedom, participation and prosperity, he said.
The Government has established the institutional framework for the indigenisation and economic empowerment programme, which is broad-based and guarantees meaningful engagement by indigenous Zimbabweans in all social and economic undertakings.
Minister Kasukuwere said Zimbabwe and South Africa share a common history on socioeconomic and political spheres, dating back to the pre-independence days.
Millions of Zimbabweans work and live in South Africa, from which Zimbabwe imports about 60 percent of its consumer goods.
At independence, South Africa was the destination for about 41 percent of Zimbabwe’s exports, accounting for 19 percent of its trade.