State-owned enterprises have long provided crucial infrastructure, goods, and services across different economic sectors in Zimbabwe. At their peak, parastatals and State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) formed the engine of the Zimbabwean economy with a combined contribution of c40% to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Historically, these companies raised money directly from governments, or with the benefit of government guarantees. Increasingly however, state-owned enterprises are accessing commercial financing not backed by any sovereign guarantee – leaving private equity or debt investors exposed to risk. It should be also highlighted that achieving meaningful growth in the broader economy will require high levels of investment flows into Zimbabwe.
On another note, one of the key problems being experienced by individuals, households and small to medium businesses in Zimbabwe relates to financial exclusion and a low savings rate. This of course is largely due to low financial literacy levels, amongst many other factors. According to the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) Economic Bulletin, Zimbabwe’s savings rate as a percentage of GDP is estimated at 10% which shows that there is a low savings culture in the country. Of the estimated 15 million people in Zimbabwe, only 20,000 are active investors (representing less than half a percent). Another important point to note is the problem of income disparity is a global one and not only specific to Zimbabwe. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Risks Report, the risk that is most likely to manifest over the next 10 years is severe income disparity. It should be highlighted that human capital is the largest contributor to income inequality. Wealthy people tend to have access to good education, implying that they have better chances of securing the best jobs. With a good education also comes exposure to financial and investment information. It is a fact that many people struggle with knowing how to manage personal finances, reduce debt, invest on the stock market, and even plan for their retirement.
Gambling activity has been on the increase (Casinos and Sports Betting)
The Zimbabwe Independent (ZIMIND Publishers) in partnership with PiggyBankAdvisor will host its inaugural annual investor forum at Harare International Conference Centre on the 14th of July 2022 themed, “Sustainable long-term investments Options”. The forum is targeted at policy makers, parastatal executives, insurance firms’ individuals, development finance institutions and financial service providers. The objective of the forum is to improve public utilities investments options, financial literacy levels while increasing the participation of individuals on local and global investment markets. The forum will also cover economics, parastatal reforms, and corporate governance in the public sector, stock market investing and personal finance issues.
The Investor Forum will be the largest annual event bringing together investors, accounting firms, financial services providers, regulators and pension funds in Zimbabwe. The Forum will also be entirely focused on bringing together C- level business leaders, investors and investment firms and will showcase investment opportunities in Zimbabwe. Networking and focused meetings at the forum will also provide an unparalleled opportunity to discover and develop a robust network of the highest quality of business leaders. Further, there will also be focused specific sessions showcasing new investment products and insights into investment opportunities. The following are the broad focus areas to be covered by the Forum;
- Economic and Investments Outlook
- Offshore Investments
- Exchange Traded Funds and Real Estate Investment Trusts
- Investment: To privatise or not?
- Reforming Zimbabwe’s Parastatals and State owned enterprises
- Innovative investment options into Utilities
- Corruption and Corporate Governance Issues in the Public Sector
- Derivatives & Cryptocurrencies
- The Investment 101 Handbook
- Investing and trading on the ZSE, FINSEC and VFEX
An Awards Night will then conclude the 2022 Zimbabwe Annual Investor Forum by recognising individuals and corporates that have been instrumental promoting domestic and international investment flows in the country. The event is expected attract delegates from different spheres of the economy and this should include Policy Makers, Parastatals Executives, Insurance Firms, Pension Fund Managers, Local Authorities Executives, Development Finance Institutions, Private Equity Investors, Legal Practitioners, Bankers, Property Developers, Regulators and Academia. For registrations, sponsorships, and exhibitions, email [email protected] or call +263 773 417 267.