Zimbabwe: ‘Coal projects to unlock potential’

PRESIDENT Mnangagwa’s two-day visit to the coal mining area of Hwange, Matabeleland North that is expected to unlock endless economic possibilities is yet another sign of his commitment towards reviving the economy, analysts have said. In Hwange, the President toured several coal mining, coke and power generation projects, which upon completion will yield an additional 3 000MW to the national grid. The projects run into billions of dollars and dovetail with the mining sector’s ambitious US$12 billion economy by 2023.

An analyst Mr Collen Mharadzano said President Mnangagwa’s visit to Hwange is a harbinger of a great economic revolution. “His current and futuristic vision will usher Zimbabwe into an upper middle income economy with ease. With the anticipated power surplus, investors are likely to invade Zimbabwe as the enablers will have been granted. “Therefore, the Hwange visit is a harbinger of a great economic revolution which will turn into a positive tide for the people,” he said.

Re-industrialisation is key in achieving the goal of making Zimbabwe a middle-income earning country by 2030.

Political analyst Mr Obert Gutu said much to the disappointment and chagrin of the usual political naysayers and malcontents, Zimbabwe’s national economy is slowly, but surely turning the corner.
“The realisation that by the year 2023, Zimbabwe will actually be a net exporter of electricity is indeed a game-changer. “This fits in snugly with the Government thrust to make Zimbabwe an upper middle income economy by the year 2030.The coal and coke mining ventures in Hwange, being undertaken by Hwange Colliery Limited and other private players will significantly contribute to the socio-economic development of Matabeleland North province in particular and Zimbabwe in general.

“This is a strategic turning point for the development of the western region of Zimbabwe, fitting in very well with the devolution agenda. Local communities in and around Hwange should be made to benefit from this investment,” said Mr Gutu.

As Government works on resuscitating key industrial units guided by the “Local Content and Import Substitution Strategy”, the mining sector in particular and the agriculture sectors, are the key sources of raw materials to drive re-industrialisation.

Industry relies heavily on coal for wider energy usage and other critical by-products and in this regard another analyst Mr Farai Ngondo said President Mnangagwa is standing firm as he pursues his vision to achieve economic growth.

“These and many other programmes that include infrastructure development on trunk roads and bridges, public utilities like revamping of national stadia, power generation projects amongst others. All these programmes are aimed at achieving a middle income economy by 2030 an attainable goal. Definitely, employment opportunities are going to be galore in the mining and agricultural sector. Which is all that the populace wants.

“The infrastructural realm is already being fashioned to suit the 2030 upper middle income threshold,” he said.

A British think tank, the European Intelligence Unit (EIU), recently predicted that President Mnangagwa will romp to victory in the 2023 harmonised elections because of the positive economic growth that will be registered in the next few years.