The Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Honourable Priscah Mupfumira urged the Zimbabwe Diasporas to return home and invest in various sectors of the economy for the development of Zimbabwe. The Minister is leading a delegation currently holding a countrywide diaspora homecoming roadshow in the United Kingdom aimed at increasing arrivals and heightening investor appetite on destination Zimbabwe.
The roadshow will see Honourable Mupfumira launching the inaugural edition of the ZimThrive initiative which will see a congregation of Diasporas in Zimbabwe from different source markets in April 2020. Additionally and more significantly, Zimbabwe turns 40 next year as well, Through its theme, Homecoming, ZimThrive seeks to bring the world together to collaborate, create and innovate in areas that include tourism, business and entertainment. It will also aim to enhance social mobility and sustainability. Zim Thrive 2020 is also to be a catalyst for other business and community projects locally. In line with driving investment opportunities into the country, Zim Thrive is working with its partners, international participants, businesses, innovators and influencers to develop the ground-breaking venture and seeks to engage with alumni from a wide range of local high schools, FE and HE institutions to draw participants.
Speaking at a colourful Diasporas reception hosted in Leeds and as part of the ‘Diaspora Homecoming Roadshow’ series in the United Kingdom, Honourable Mupfumira implored upon dialogue, commonality and unity particularly in aiding achievement of the enunciated Vision 2030 of making Zimbabwe an upper middle class economy.
“Together we can make the Zimbabwe we wish to see only if we focus on the best we can offer to our beautiful homeland. Our call is to reason together and most importantly put our heads together to strategise on the best we can all do to foster the development of Zimbabwe, particularly in attaining the vision enunciated by the President – of rebuilding and transforming Zimbabwe in to an upper-middle class economy by 2030. This can never be achieved without commonality and a shared purpose”, she pleaded.
Honourable Mupfumira also alluded to the renewed and rejuvenated interest that Zimbabwe has been receiving since the consummation of the Second Republic which has seen major strides and milestones not only in the tourism sector but the different facets of the economy in general. The Honourable Minister lamented the missing diaspora participation and involvement in an array of investment opportunities the country proffers. She further emphasised the significant role played by the Diaspora community in the development of any country particularly in their indispensable contribution to tourism promotion, foreign currency generation, employment creation and the national income.
In her presentation on tourism investment opportunity areas and in support of this call, the Acting Chief of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, Mrs Rita Likukuma counselled the Diasporas on the importance of their involvement no matter how small they view the contribution,
“No investment is too small, our wish is to see all our Diasporas investing and be involved in the varied opportunities that Zimbabwe offers. With the accounted Diasporas population of 123 000 as reported by the United Kingdom National Statistics Office (NSO) 2018, if one of this invest as little as ten dollars, that will be a massive contribution,” she said.
The Ministry through its implementing arm, the ZTA, is in the process of finalising a Diaspora Tourism Strategy that should help Zimbabwe to meaningfully tap into obtainable opportunities particularly for this market. Meanwhile, there are different investment prospects that the Diasporas could consider as well as capitalise on such as the Special Economic Zones, Trans-frontier Conservation Areas, hospitality, meetings and conferencing, energy and power among others.
The zeal and passion shown by the Diaspora community in Leeds, after the address by the Minister, was encouraging and raised hopes of increased participation in the development of country’s economic activity through meaningful investment from this part of the world. The Chairman of the Zimbabwe Leeds Community (ZLC) chairman, Mr Mupandawana commended the Minister and her delegation for heeding to the call to engage and interact. He emphasised that he community did not take it lightly. Mupandawana took time to explain how the arm has worked very hard in building vibrant and robust relationships in the Leeds community which they are willing to offer to the tourism ministry in their tourism promotion drive in the United Kingdom.
The Diaspora Home coming Roadshow series dubbed the four cities roadshow is the first for the United Kingdom covering major cities of Leeds, Huntingdon, Manchester, Birmingham and London. Although the Diasporas reengagement has been an ongoing phenomenon especially in London, this year the scope took a more broad and all-encompassing scope with the Ministry and its parastatal, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority expanding the reach to various cities in the United Kingdom.
The next destinations for the road show are Huntingdon, Manchester and Birmingham scheduled for 13, 15 and 17 July respectively.