Prodigal Son's Return

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Zimbabwe

Executive Summary

This report is the 1st edition looking at the opportunities for small and medium size business areas of possible interest to returning residents to Zimbabwe.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti is reported to have said that Zimbabwe's economy is on course to grow by 9.3% in 2011 after growing 8.1% in 2010 due mainly to a recovery in the key mining and agriculture sectors. This upward trend is a welcome reversal of Zimbabwe's fortunes in the previous decade where hyper-inflation dominated every aspect of the economic environment.

The southern African country's economy still has major issues to overcome one of which is the high, said to be as much as 80%, unemployment rate. For the returning resident looking to seek employment, the unemployment rate is a deterrent unless one is qualified and experienced in a shortage skill area. The truth is more likely that the vast majority of working age citizens are employed in the black economy i.e. the informal sector, which seriously affects tax revenues that are required for re-investment in the country's infrastructure. The continued breakdown of the infrastructure affects businesses in a negative way and taken with the 157th position in the World Bank's Doing Business Index', it may appear that the business opportunities are very limited. The ranking though has to be taken with some scepticism as it may relate in some cases to difficulties experienced as a foreign individual or company.

This report is biased towards Harare, as this is where the bulk of the research was carried out, but many of the observations will be true of other parts of Zimbabwe. This report covers various areas, namely:

In true "Prodigal Son's Return" report format, the information presented here is the result of observations and limited high level research - please take note of the disclaimer.

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