HomeOpinionZIDA in local authorities engagement offensive

ZIDA in local authorities engagement offensive

The Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA), has embarked on a nationwide drive to engage some key stakeholders. This process has started with rural/local authorities and councils and will deepen to reach all stakeholders within the next couple of months.

Since the formation and launch of ZIDA, deliberate efforts have been made to engage stakeholders with a view to raise awareness, explain the ZIDA Act and address some misconceptions that might have risen when the three units namely the ZIA, Joint Ventures and the Special Economic Zones Acts  were repealed and the ZIDA Act was promulgated and signed into law.

Last month the ZIDA team comprising executives and technical experts, toured Bulawayo and had a successful, but very eye-opening meeting with the Bulawayo, Beitbridge, Gwanda and Victoria Falls city councils. The ZIDA team managed to pick issues that were sticking out and mainly contributing to the disconnect between both parties’ understanding of the policies and prevailing situation.

“We thought it would be right for us to begin with the people who will be directly affected by all these transactions. We have people in Harare signing contracts but the people who are impacted are the locals in that mining or manufacturing town. We have sort to capacitate them and so they know what ZIDA offers.

“Our programmes start with making a project bankable and we go through all the stages with them, up until investment. We have been received well in Matabeleland and Masvingo and now look forward to visiting Manicaland soon,” Tino Kambasha, chief investment and corporate affairs officer, said.

Next stop was in Masvingo where ZIDA interfaced with nine local authorities and rural district councils that fall under that province. The two-day meeting also revealed key issues that have been hindering these constituencies from reaching their full potential with specific focus on investments.

Local authorities and Rural District Councils manage vast tracts of land and mineral resources across the country. The problem they had in the past was that of unlocking this wealth by attracting both local and foreign investments. There were bad deals signed in the past, which would have been a result of a lack of proper due diligence being done before signing.

Through ZIDA, these authorities can now have access to proper due diligence processes and bankable feasibility studies. ZIDA has a team of very experienced people which comprises ministry specialists, wealth managers, investment analysts, former bankers, lawyers, accountants to mention just a few. This basically means all investment inquiries and submissions can happen in ZIDA’s One-Stop Investment Services Centre (OSISC).

ZIDA is also looking at the possibility of setting up structures for investment facilitation that will work hand-in-glove with local authorities and ensure seamless exchange of information between the two parties.

During the tours, ZIDA is also unpacking how Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) and can benefit the authorities. The quality of the PPPs that local authorities are involved in have to be of the highest standards that can unlock much-needed foreign direct investment.

Regarding Special Economic Zones (SEZs), local authorities are also being made aware of the current location of SEZs and those in the pipeline. The agency is also listening to suggestions from the authorities and both of the above.

The next phase of this programme will be to fully engage government ministries, provincial leadership, private sector, diaspora and regional and foreign investors. The ultimate goal is for ZIDA and its key stakeholders to build alliances.

l ZIDA is an investment agency responsible for promoting and facilitating both local and foreign investment in the country. Contact them on osisc@zidainvest.com

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