Hostile to business

Shakeman Mugari

ZIMBABWE has one of the most hostile business environments in Africa, according to a World Economic Forum (WEF) report released in Maputo this week.



na, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>The Switzerland-based WEF’s annual Africa Competitive Report ranked Zimbabwe as one of the worst investment destinations in Africa.


Zimbabwe is at the bottom of the rankings based on a survey of world economic leaders in 25 African countries surveyed in areas of macroeconomic environment, macroeconomic stability and governance.

The ranking coincides with another report by Transparency International, which shows Zimbabwe continued to drop in the corruption index. The report, produced this week, revealed that Zimbabwe’s average Corruption Perception Index score has continued to decline, from 4,2 in 1998 to 2,3 last year. The points range between 10 (clean) to 0 (highly corrupt).


According to the index, Zimbabwe is the third most corrupt country in Southern Africa after Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo, both countries just emerging from debilitating civil wars.


Transparency International noted that average CPI scores for countries in Africa have continued to decline despite strategies adopted to fight graft.

The WEF report on the other hand noted that Zimbabwe’s economic demise was self-inflicted because of misguided policies. It made reference to the country’s battered human rights record which has been the subject of widespread international condemnation.


“Zimbabwe has seriously backtracked in the areas of individual freedom and human rights, with the efficiency and stability of its economy suffering greatly from self-inflicted and misguided policies,” the WEF said.


The report ranked Zimbabwe 22nd out of 25 countries on the growth competitiveness index due to lack of rule of law, intimidation of opposition, violent elections and government’s iron-fisted rule.


The government has also nullified individuals’ property rights through hurried land laws, used to justify its seizure of white-owned commercial farms, it said

Botswana continues to be the most conducive investment destination in Africa, coming first in six categories.


The report cited the country’s democracy and fiscal stability. South Africa was ranked third on the growth competitiveness index.

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