President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa recently witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which will unlock $1,2 billion worth of investments into the tourism and hospitality industry from Touchroad International Holdings Group, a Chinese company.
The company was previously denied the deal for three years under the previous dispensation, reports allAfrica.
Priscah Mupfumira, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Tourism and Hospitality, signed the MoU on April 6, with Touchroad International Holdings Group in Hangzhou Province, China, during a ceremony that was witnessed by President Mnangagwa, as well as various government ministers and captains of industry.
Mupfumira said Zimbabwe was not significantly present in the Chinese market with regard to tourism. “We would like to engage the Chinese market for tourism and we will be successful.”
The Chinese company approached former President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, three years ago, however they were shut down and rejected. The MoU took a few days for President Mnangagwa to ratify.
According to allAfrica, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Chief Executive, Dr Karikoga Kaseke said: “We are excited as an industry that Zimbabwe is now open for real business, thanks to the new political dispensation led by President Mnangagwa.
“Tourism was the most closed sector. We now realise that a lot of things were being blocked, for example this proposal from Touchroad International Holdings was given to the previous administration, but they sat on it. What questions or due diligence were they undertaking that needed three years, as the new leadership took less than a day to assess the same proposal?”
Kaseke said he did not understand why this proposal was hidden to ZTA, as it was the implementing agency for the country.
Touchroad International Holdings is a privately owned company, with its headquarters in Shanghai, and has business interests in a variety of sectors. The company has operations in more than 25 African countries, including Namibia and Djibouti.