Calls for the diaspora to invest in Mining
Zimbabweans in the diaspora should start investing in the country’s mining sector to prepare for their safe homecoming as well as contribute to economic resuscitation since the country is confident that the sector has all it takes to be at the centre of revival, a promising young Mining Prospector Nyasha Magadhi has said.
Magadhi said Zimbabweans abroad have been important to the country’s revenue generation by going toe to toe with the country’s major foreign currency earner gold. He said the remittances can further increase if they are being channelled for investment in mining or agriculture thereby setting up Zimbabwe for an economic turnaround.
He said it was of importance for the diaspora to partner in an effort to invest in battery metals like lithium, nickel and copper since the minerals are important for the world’s clean energy future.
“Remittances have been of importance in keeping the economy afloat through playing a significant role in the health and education sectors as well as food and clothing categories. It is high time we see the diaspora channelling some of the money they are getting there to fund home projects, particularly investing in the mining sector.
“I would personally want a situation where the diaspora takes a leading role in funding lithium, copper and nickel projects since the energy future will greatly depend on these minerals. We have people in the diaspora who have access to capital that can fund these booming projects which are being taken over mostly by the Chinese. The diaspora should join hands and save the country from this soft takeover,” Madadhi said.
According to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Prof Mthuli Ncube, in total, Zimbabweans abroad sent home US$797 million over the first six months of the year, 23 per cent more than at half-year in 2021. In 2021, Diaspora remittances rose 42.7 per cent to US$1.47 billion. The government had expected them to rise even further this year.
“There has been a steady increase in international remittances, and we expect them to get to between US$1.5 billion and US$1.6 billion this year. We are considering a US dollar Diaspora bond to allow Zimbabweans living outside the country to invest at fair interest rates,” Minister Mthuli Ncube said.
A recent paper by researchers Beacon Mbiba and Daisy Mupfumira posits that: “The major purposes for these remittances were largely to address health and care issues (19.23 %), school fees and education related support (19.23 %), funerals (15.38 %) and food and clothing (15.38 %).”
Remittances have played an important role in foreign currency earnings only falling behind gold, according to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, legal exports of gold, Zimbabwe’s top mineral export, increased from US$1.2billion in 2020 to US$1.7 billion in 2021. The RBZ attributed the 42 per cent increase in 2021 to improved gold output and firm prices as economies recovered from COVID-19 lockdowns.
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