The Sunday Mail
Garikai Mazara in Kanyemba
The Kanyemba Investment Conference, which ended yesterday, got a timely boost with completion of the pontoon landing bay three weeks ago.
The conference started last Wednesday and sought to mould Kanyemba, strategically the shortest route into Central Africa, into a preferred investment destination.
The opening of Kanyemba as a route into Central Africa dovetails with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s vision to turn “landlocked Zimbabwe” into a land-linked nerve centre of logistics, commerce and information technology in the sub-region.
In his weekly column in The Sunday Mail last week, President Mnangagwa enunciated his vision of turning the “disadvantage” of being a landlocked country into an asset, via a web of road, rail and ICT linkages connecting Southern Africa and beyond.
Opening of Kanyemba Border Post will shorten the distance into Central Africa by 600km as compared to using Chirundu One-Stop Border Post.
The completion of the pontoon landing bay, built at a cost of $850 000 by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, will see the facility used by the governments of Zimbabwe and Zambia at Kazungula being transferred to Kanyemba.
Further investment prospects for Kanyemba will be heightened in 2023 when the settlement anticipates securing town status.
In his keynote address at the investment conference, Mbire district CEO Mr Cloudious Majaya said infrastructure developers and tourism investors had taken great interest in the area.
“The Infrastructural Development Bank of Zimbabwe, Beat The Drum (Rivergod), Falcon Lodges, Murara Fishing Camp and African Sun Limited are some of the major players in the transformation of Kanyemba,” said Mr Majaya.
Kanyemba offers tourism packages like the Seven Baobab Trees, where the remains of Munhumutapa are interred; petrified stones; slave-holding bays; and 200 million-year-old dinosaur spoor in Chewore Safari Camp.
Investments taking shape include Paruware Crocodile Farm and the $39 million Kanongo Sugar Cane Estate.
Recording up to 40 degrees Celsius in summer, Kanyemba offers immense investment opportunities for solar energy infrastructure, and four prospective investors have shown interest in this sector.
The district is implementing a climate change mitigation programme that generates average income of $80 000 annually through sale of carbon credits.
One of Kanyemba’s biggest challenges is a poor road network. Of 1 400km of roads, only 3km are tarred.
The Transport Ministry has started a 10km asphalt overlay which should be completed by year-end, while the 3,5km stretch from the pontoon landing bay has been put on hold due to a contractual dispute.
The third biggest producer of cotton in Zimbabwe after Gokwe and Chipinge, Mbire has a population of 82 380 (2012 National Census), and offers also investment opportunities in education and health as it has only 55 primary and secondary schools and 13 health service centres.
Kanyemba shares the unique characteristics of the Caprivi Strip (Zimbabwe, Namibia and Zambia) and Crook’s Corner (Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique) of sharing borders with three countries.
Kanyemba joins Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Zambia.
The highly subscribed conference saw representatives from Potraz, Cottco, NetOne, Glow Petroleum, IDBZ, Africom, Bindura University of Science Education and Econet making presentations on investment opportunities available in Kanyemba.