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Zimbabwe Private Sector Snapshot
- Zimbabweans rank among Africa’s most educated. According to the World Bank (2023), the country has "excellent human capital, comparable to that of upper-middle-income economies in sub-Saharan Africa, although some skill shortages are emerging in some sectors."
- Although Zimbabwe’s startup scene is still small, there is great potential. Innovation hubs like Eight2five in Harare are growing and offering support to local entrepreneurs. The country also has a legacy of entrepreneurship in the technology sector, with the Zimbabwean-founded Econet Group being among the pioneers of mobile telecommunications on the continent.
- The services sector is highly impressive, likely stemming from a strong history in tourism, which is the third-largest sector in the economy behind mining and agriculture (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2022).
- Zimbabwe has beautiful weather and a strong agricultural foundation. According to Africa News, Zimbabwe registered its largest wheat harvest in 50 years in 2022 (375,000 tons) setting the country up to become a “self-sufficient agricultural powerhouse.” The article also states that "the country no longer needs to import wheat to meet its needs, saving up to $300M in import costs."
- The Zimbabwean currency currently lacks international exchange value, leading to a high demand for foreign exchange for essential imports.
- Based on Renew Capital’s discussion with local private-sector players, there seems to be a concern about the government’s influence on the banking system.
- Upcoming elections, slated for August this year, have heightened uncertainty about whether the elected government will be able to deliver a stable currency and create the stable political environment needed to build investor confidence.
- Like many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Zimbabwe has great wealth and many wealthy Zimbabweans, but there are few angel investors, angel networks and early-stage VC investors active in the market to fuel the formation and growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.