At the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, African leaders called for the West to ease sanctions on Zimbabwe. Recently the United States of America sanctioned 56 companies and 85 individuals, including current President Emerson Mnangagwa.
Locals in the country say the sanctions play a role in Zimbabwe’s economic development as industries have shut down operations. Many say the sanctions are to blame for the country’s slow economic growth. Due to the sanctions, Zimbabwe is seen as unsuitable for investment. However, the European Union maintains that the country’s economic woes are not a result of sanctions.
For now, the crisis continues and the citizens of Zimbabwe continue to face economic hardships.
Zim City and Economic Development
Zimbabwe has however continued its ambitious plans for development. It has tasked Mulk International, a United Arab Emirates (UAE) conglomerate to build a $500 million Cyber City which is viewed as the “New Harare”, Zimbabwe’s capital city.
The 2.5 million square meters city is funded and constructed by Mulk international and will have facilities like malls, residential spaces, and the tallest towers in Africa. The city is aimed at decongesting Harare. In the new city, a parliament building was constructed with fully funding from China Aid, a Chinese government initiative.
The city named Zim Cyber City will aid Zimbabwe to catch up with the world as it will encompass the latest information communication technologies to manage its business.
The relationship between UAE and Zimbabwe could be enhanced as they collaborate in this monumental construction. The ambitions also include integrating blockchain technology.
Nevertheless, there are serious questions being asked about the city. Reports suggest that the deal comes at a cost for the investors. The investors may have to employ foreign staff, get tax breaks, and repatriate some of their profits. It would be hard to ignore tax breaks already being given to Chinese companies such as Huawei and ZTE.
What’s more, the Cyber City, when completed may only be affordable to the rich.