According to the latest data from the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA), the number of licensed investors from China in the first half of 2023 increased to 160, up from 53 in the same period in 2022. This indicates China’s dominant position in foreign direct investment inflows to Zimbabwe, with their investments projected to have a total value of 948.67m, accounting for the majority of the total projected investment value of US$1.835bn. In the same period, Chinese investments had a projected investment value of US$939.50m.
Zimbabwe turned to China as an ally at the turn of the millennium due to its disagreement with Western capitals over governance deficits and human rights violations. India followed as the second on the list of licensed investors at 24 with a projected investment value of US$27.01m, while ZIDA licensed 18 local investors with a projected value of US$222.53 in the first half of the year.
ZIDA’s Q2 2023 report revealed that in 2022, licenses were issued to investors from 22 countries, including Zimbabwe, while in the first half of 2023, the agency managed to draw investors from 32 countries. Mining was the most preferred sector followed by the manufacturing sector, and China had the highest number of investors and investment value by a considerable margin. ZIDA also reported an increase in the number of investor inquiries into the energy sector, with 68% of the projected investment value for all licenses issued in the energy sector in Q2 2023.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Frederick Shava mentioned at the Zimbabwe-China Business Forum that China continues to be Zimbabwe’s top source of Foreign Direct Investment in sectors such as mining, manufacturing, agriculture, construction, transport, and tourism. Last year, Zimbabwe imported goods worth US$1.125bn from China, including machinery, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and vehicles, among others, while exports to China were US$1.3bn, resulting in a trade surplus of US$175m. Zimbabwe exported tobacco, iron and steel, edible fruits, leather and leather products, ferroalloys, and chromium ore to China.
Shava mentioned that China’s governance-neutral approach has made it an all-weather ally for African countries. However, critics argue that Chinese loans have caused several African countries to fall into debt
African Union’s Inclusion in G20: A Significant Acknowledgment of a Continent with 1 Billion Inhabitants
The world’s most powerful economies, the G20, have welcomed the African Union (AU) as a permanent member, recognising Africa’s more than 50 countries as important players on the global stage. US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi both expressed support for the AU’s permanent membership.
The AU has advocated for full membership for seven years and, until now, South Africa was the only African country in the G20. The AU represents a continent with a young population of 1.3 billion, which is set to double by 2050 and make up a quarter of the world’s population.
Africa’s 55 member states have long pushed for meaningful roles in global bodies, including the United Nations Security Council, and want reforms to the global financial system. The continent is increasingly attracting investment and political interest from global powers like China, Russia, Gulf nations, Turkey, Israel, and Iran. African leaders are challenging the framing of the continent as passive victim and want to be brokers instead.
They seek fairer treatment by financial institutions, delivery of rich countries’ long-promised $100 billion a year in climate financing for developing nations, and a global tax on fossil fuels. The AU’s full G20 membership will enable it to represent a continent that’s home to the world’s largest free trade area and abundant resources needed to combat climate change. The African continent has 60% of the world’s renewable energy assets and over 30% of the minerals key to renewable and low-carbon technologies.
African leaders want more industrial development closer to home to benefit their economies. Finding a common position among the AU’s member states, from economic powers to some of the world’s poorest nations, can be challenging, but Africa will need to speak with one voice to influence G20 decision-making. African leaders have shown their willingness to take collective action, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a high-profile G20 member, Africa’s demands will be harder to ignore.
Forging Strong Bonds: Iran and Zimbabwe Deepen Economic Ties in Raisi’s Africa Tour
On Thursday, Zimbabwe and Iran signed 12 memorandums of understanding to strengthen their bilateral ties during Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s visit to Africa. Raisi had previously visited Kenya and Uganda before meeting with Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Harare. Among the 12 MOUs is a plan to establish a tractor manufacturing plant in Zimbabwe with the help of an Iranian company and a local partner. The two countries also signed agreements for cooperation in energy, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and telecommunications, as well as research, science, and technology projects.
Mnangagwa expressed his appreciation for investments in several sectors of Zimbabwe’s economy to reporters after the signing ceremony. However, he did not disclose the amount of investment Zimbabwe is expecting from Iran. Raisi mentioned the economic challenges facing Iran and Zimbabwe due to U.S. sanctions but emphasised his country’s efforts to build closer economic ties.
According to Iran’s foreign ministry, trade with Africa is expected to exceed $2 billion this year, but there was no comparison to the previous year’s figures. This African visit is the first by an Iranian leader since 2013, following a visit to three Latin American countries in June, all of which are also affected by U.S. sanctions.
Breaking News: E-Creator Fraud Ring Leader Apprehended by Police
The Zimbabwe Republic Police is requesting that individuals who have been deceived by E-Creator, Zhao Jiaotong come forward and report to the nearest police station.
According to police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, the kingpin of the E-Creator Ponzi scheme has been arrested on charges of fraud. The suspect is identified as Chinese national Zhao Jiaotong, who is said to be the founder of the notorious platform that has scammed people out of thousands of dollars.
Nyathi stated, “The Zimbabwe Republic Police confirms the arrest of Zhao Jiaotong, 39, in connection with a case of fraud in which unsuspecting members of the public were duped through the E-Creator Ponzi scheme.”
The police are urging anyone who may have fallen victim to E-Creator to report to their nearest police station. Additionally, the public is encouraged to exercise caution and perform thorough research before investing in any Ponzi or pyramid schemes that promise quick returns.