in crisis. The pessimist might justifiably call the country a disaster. The
optimist – with a suitably long timeline – may just be able to see a low base
with incredible scope. For South African business, our near proximity makes the
glass-half-full option one worth battling to make a reality. And the potential
is not hiding.
Dyke corridor, a 550km strip that splits the country diagonally, constitutes
the world’s second-largest reserve of platinum group metals. Zimbabwe is also
home to the second-largest diamond reserve on the planet and more than 4,000
gold deposits. Then there’s chrome, coal and another 30-odd mineral and
mineral-based commodities produced in Zimbabwe.
gradual revival of Zimbabwe’s agriculture since the sector’s demise after the
land grabs of the early 2000s, spare capacity abounds. Between 2000 and 2016
annual wheat production fell from 250,000 tons to 60,000 tons, maize was reduced
from two million tons to 500,000 tons and cattle slaughtered for beef fell from
605,000 to 244,000.
tourism, anyone who has experienced Victoria Falls, Lake Kariba, Hwange
National Park or the Great Zimbabwe Ruins will vouch for this sector’s
loss is stark, but the prospects for growth are demonstrable and large
unpacks the current political and economic crisis in the Zimbabwe and the
importance of the country as a strategic partner to South Africa.
David Coltart, MDC Senator, has been a human rights lawyer in Zimbabwe since his return to the country in 1983. He was first elected to represent the Bulawayo South House of Assembly constituency in June 2000, was relected in 2005 and 2013. Between 2009 and 2013 he was the Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture in the inclusive government. He is the author of “The struggle continues: 50 years of tyranny in Zimbabwe” published by Jacana in 2016.
Arthur Mutambara, former deputy prime minister of Zimbabwe
Peter Moyo, CEO of Old Mutual Emerging Markets
Professor Nick Binedell, former dean of GIBS
A light dinner will be served after the event.
Want to attend but can't afford to? email Nkawus@gibs.co.za for one of the limited free seats available.
Please note that GIBS forums are recorded for City Press adnd BDTV.