I believe I have a transformational role in being in Africa. One of which is to help bring money to the entire continent. My priority of course is Zimbabwe because it’s my home and I am a Zimbabwean patriot and as such I will always bring as much investment as I possibly can here – that will never change. But by being a influential person in YPO(LINK) and heading up/championing the DBIA(LINK) group I’ve been given a unique opportunity to make a difference and influence those - who really count - on the continent of Africa. I have the ability and responsibility to attract investors to Africa by getting them really interested in investing, and showing them it’s the right time and place to bring their money and that perception is not the reality. News have a propensity to print sensationalism which is largely negative and i believe we all have a collective responsibility to get behind the national agenda of the Africa Renaissance put aside personal differences, agendas and become the "change we want to see in the world".
“We need trade, not aid…”
One of the methods that I’m currently using to develop investment opportunities in Africa by chairing the DBIA group in YPO but also by participating in the WEF(link) on Africa every year (which rotates between Cape Town, South Africa and another African country every other year). By networking at these type of events and other business events and conferences in Africa I’m meeting business leaders; helping shape their views of how to do business in Africa, as well as bringing investors from outside Africa, back into the continent.
FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) does two things…
1 - We need jobs in Africa: There are too many young people unemployed. The youth of Africa are sitting on the streets and they’re hustling in Nairobi. They’re not using their talents and their full ability and talent. When FDI comes into a country it creates additional employment by; either growing the existing business it invests into, which gives opportunity for more employment to be created, or alternatively, if it’s a new project it will employ a completely new set of people.
2 – Africa’s poor: We need to change the "begging bowl" attitude by driving out poverty. This will be made possible only by bringing in FDI. With new investment the economy grows. When the economy grows there’s increased disposable income levels in the market and people’s salaries rise and that generally leads to the poor being lifted from their plight.
Our FDI is the poorest of any continent on the globe. We’re exporting roughly 12% of the global resources, but only importing about 2% of the global capitol through FDI. That’s called IMBALANCE. All the raw materials are going out and the money isn’t coming back in. Our politicians and leaders have a responsibility to ensure value addition is done on the continent and not elsewhere.
Africa’s population is unique in the world because 70% of us are under 25 years old.
In the next 20 years we’ll have a new “baby boomer” population of 700 million people driving consumption on the continent of Africa. Right now there’s 60 million middle income households on the continent. By 2020 it will have doubled;120 middle income households which will consume goods, brands, products, and that consumption is going to drive the economies of Africa. With investments decisions made, they will get much higher returns than they’re getting in America and the developed countries of Europe. Our job and my strategy for Africa is to try and facilitate part of that dream.