Zida brought to life

IN February 2020, the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (Zida) Act was signed into law.  This brought Zida to life.

What exactly is Zida, and why do we need it? Zida is a statutory agency that was born from an Act of Parliament. The reason it was setup is primarily for:

  • Promoting, planning and implementing investment promotion strategies;
  • Facilitating entry and implementation of investment projects;
  • To establish and regulate special economic zones;
  • To promote, appraise and recommend private public partnerships;
  • Investor after-care and monitoring of projects;
  • Promoting decentralisation of investment activities.

Zida is there to make it easier for a business to invest in the country. It is a one-stop-shop for both local and foreign investors. What does this mean?

Before Zida, investors had to deal with many different agencies.

These included the Zimbabwe Investment Authority ZIA, the Joint Ventures Unit at the Ministry of Finance, the Zimbabwe Special Economic Zones Authority (ZIMSEZA) and the Export Processing Zone Authority. These agencies have all now been brought under one roof at Zida.

To invest in Zimbabwe, an investor needed many licences. This meant that an investor had to go from one service department to the other.

They had to go to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), the Registrar General, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority, Local Authorities, National Social Security Authority (Nssa), Environmental Management Agency (Ema) and relevant line ministries.

All this red tape discouraged investors, both local and foreign. Now, an investor will not need to go to all these departments. All these services will now be offered under one roof at Zida.

Already, Zida has been involved in facilitating successful investments into Zimbabwe. This includes new investments in mining, agriculture, manufacturing, energy and other key sectors of the economy.

It is also Zida’s job to assess all investment transactions involving government entities and third parties. This is to make sure they are done properly, and for the country’s benefit.

This includes assessing all joint venture proposals, mergers and acquisitions, public private partnerships and all general investments into the country. This is to ensure that a social dividend is realised through skills transfer, mechanisation, community benefits and that these transactions also yield a financial benefit to the fiscus.

Zida also works with local companies to help them increase exports via bilateral relationships with other countries and by working with sister agencies such as the foreign affairs ministry, Zimtrade, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and many other departments.

The role of the OSISC

The One Stop Investment Service Centre (OSISC) was set up to close the gap in the country’s investment facilitation matrix, by making available officials from key regulatory bodies and ministries relevant to the investment process.

Further to that, OSISC has been developed to assist investors in the different areas where they may be facing bottlenecks to access services and/or investment information under one roof. It is therefore a critical and fully empowered unit of the Agency meant to ease the overall investment process.

Seconded officials

The full support to the investment facilitation process is evidenced by the strong support received from ministries, departments and agencies who have seconded their seasoned officials to occupy the various desks within the OSISC.

As of December 2020, the following was the status of OSISC desk occupation:

  •  Department of Deeds, Companies and Intellectual Property
  • Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (Exchange Control Authority)
  • Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra)
  • Department of Immigration Control
  • National Social Security Authority (Nssa)
  • Environmental Management Agency (Ema)
  • Zimbabwe Tourism  Authority (ZTA)
  • Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare
  • Ministry of Mines and Mining Development
  • Ministry of Local Government and Public Works
  • Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement
  • Ministry of Industry and Commerce

Additional secondees are expected to join Zida in 2021 from the Zimbabwe Regulatory Authority and the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe.

Activities within OSISC

The following are some of the key activities within OSISC:

  •  Business promotion;
  • Business facilitation;
  • Benchmarking of services with regionally acclaimed Investment Promotion Agencies;
  • Liaison with seconding ministries and/ or agencies on pertinent investment information;
  • Cafting of OSISC operating procedure manuals; and
  • Engagements with key stakeholders among others.

Stakeholder engagement

Zida has begun a drive to engage all its stakeholders to firstly understand their needs, and eventually provide a service par excellence. These engagements will also involve the dissemination of information in areas of cooperation, pipeline projects and the ease of doing business. In some instances, this will involve the setting up of committees or task forces, to ensure communal contributions exist in address concerns and ideas alike.

Our key stakeholders are the people of Zimbabwe both near and far. The people of Zimbabwe are this nation’s greatest asset. Zida would like to assist in unearthing the great potential that this country has.

Zida is situated at 1st Floor, ZB Life Towers Cnr Jason Moyo & Sam Nujoma in Harare and  3rd Floor Fidelity Life Centre, Fife Street & 11th Avenue, Bulawayo. Zida can be contacted on  +263 86 880 02639-42.  Email: osisc@zidainvest.com or www.zidainvest.com