Ladies and gentlemen before I go into my speech, allow me to say, as a city we are humbled by your keen interest to invest in Harare. We thank you for showing interest and hope that we will work together for the development of our city and our residents.
Harare has a special place in the SADC region. We are centrally located by road, rail and air which makes us the gateway to the rest of the region. Furthermore, when you set up your business in Harare you will not have any connectivity problems in terms of internet and telecommunications. We are also home to government departments, headquarters of international and local banks. Even companies that do not necessarily operate from Harare, you will find out that they have headquarters here, so when you are in Harare you have everything at your disposal. Harare is an investment portal.
Our land and climatic conditions are the best in the region. This city actually started as a farming community mainly because of those factors.
We have decided to reposition our city as the best investment destination and economic hub in the region that is why we have activated all our structures to positively respond to investments. As alluded to by the mayor we have reformed our Ease of Doing Business model to suit our investors and compete with any other city in the world. We now have an investment policy buttressed by several incentives depending on the magnitude of investment.
Allow me to quote from the inaugural speech by His Excellency the President of Zimbabwe CDE. E.D. Mnangagwa. He said and I quote;
“Key choices will have to be made to attract foreign direct investment to tackle high levels of unemployment while transforming our economy towards the tertiary.”
City of Harare is in full support of the government mantra: “ZIMBABWE IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS.” We have added our own to say “Harare is ready for investment”
The city is committed to make sure that you enjoy the fruits of your investment in Harare and will thrive to make sure there is continuous engagement among stakeholders. We will initiate and activate various platforms for continuous dialogue with you, so that we keep on exchanging notes. We need to keep in touch with modern business trends and manage the flow of information amongst ourselves.
Before I go into much detail, let me reiterate that as a City, we are obliged to play a facilitation role so that our investors get what they want in terms of land and office space that is why we have presentations from the Zimbabwe Investment Authority, the Special Economic Zones and the Tourism sectors.
We have various business models that can be considered in all investment opportunities that the city exhibits, these are:
- Build Operate and Transfer – in this arrangement once we 3 on the development of infrastructure you will operate and recoup your finance for an agreed period of time before surrendering it to council.
- Build Own Operate and Transfer – is a financing arrangement in which an investor designs and builds a complete project or facility at little or no cost to council, owns and operates the facility as a business for an agreed period after which transfers it to council at a previously agreed-upon or market-price.
- Joint ventures - these are the ones that we operate together sharing the costs and dividends at an agreed percentage.
- Concessions – is a negotiated contract between an investor and a council that gives the investor the right to operate a specific business within the council's jurisdiction, subject to certain conditions.
- Go It Alone – this model allows the investor to run his/her business alone with council providing a facilitation role e.g. selling suitable land for the business venture.
These are the various business models or options at your disposal that can be exploited.
Ladies and gentlemen, strides have been made in the ease of doing business reforms. Harare is the shining light in reforming business processes with a view of fast tracking investments and realising the best of each deal.
We are aware that before the processes were amended and streamlined to remove unnecessary red tape – many investors were frustrated and in the process, our brand took a knock.
I am happy to say to you today that all that is now history. We have written a new chapter that recognises and respects business. Renewing a business licence is now done while the customer waits while it now takes less than two days to get a new business licence.
Ease of payment has also been factored in. One can pay for the licence through mobile platforms. Flexibility is the name of the game. A business operator can stagger payments for the licence. Applications can be done through physical visits, online or downloading the application form from the city website www.hararecity.co.zw.
We have done away with advertising to open a shop or bottle store in the Sunshine City. We want your money to work for you.
We have established a one stop shop for the approval of building plans. The shop opens twice a week to approve the plans. It takes less than two weeks from date of submission to get the plan back.
For ease of reference council has a list of approved architects where clients can be referred for the drawing of proper building plans.
We have also set a one stop shop for the approval of layout plans where all stakeholders that include ZESA, TELONE, EMA, Physical Planning and the city’s internal departments sit together in one meeting to approve the plans. This has brought about speedy, efficiency and transparency. We are happy so are the customers who have given feedback.
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me now to dwell on the possible areas of investment that the City presents.
We were happy to note that most of our prospective partners and investors are into construction and infrastructural developments, which is one of our major priority areas. As you are aware, we are lagging behind as a nation in terms of development.
Housing demand has always been on the rise in Harare in the past few decades and pressure is upon us to deliver. In 2013, the government gave us a 105 000 housing units target, which we are supposed to achieve this year. However, as I have indicated pressure is always upon us as the capital City to deliver.
The city has an estimated population of just over 2 million people and has an annual growth rate of 1.1% due to natural growth and rural-urban migration. Having realised that land is infinite the city has embraced new land planning interventions like densification. That is why on the areas that we have identified you will realise that we are talking more about vertical space utilisation.
The purpose of this investment conference ladies and gentlemen is
- To confirm your investment areas of interest and get as much information as possible from the council management and stakeholders here present.
- To create a database for the City’s potential investors in key areas that will change the face of Harare.
- To answer some pertinent questions regarding investment opportunities in Harare
- To possibly start the investment process for those who find it appealing to invest in Harare.
For purposes of brevity, I am now going to give you highlights of the relevant departments that require the investment that we are gathered here for. Thereafter, we will have a plenary session and allow you ladies and gentlemen to ask the relevant Managers of your preferred areas of investment who will then answer your questions.
We are looking for partners for the upgrading of Mbare. Mbare being the oldest township in the city has dilapidated housing infrastructure. We want to introduce the urban renewal programme in Mbare by constructing 10 000 new and modern housing units as well as recreational facilities.
There is need to provide water services, sewer disposal network, roads, storm water and public lighting. This will be a high-density development meant for those whose sub-standard housing units would have been demolished as well as low-income earners. This project covers an area approximately 2.5 hectares.
There is also stand numbers 1728 and 1730 located along Lilford Road in Adbennie and corner 19th and 3rd Street in Crowborough Township. This is a total of 1 252 flat housing units.
Churu Farm has a proposed development of 18 000 residential, institutional, home industry and recreational stands. It is a high density project covering an approximately 1 800 hectares along Chitungwiza Road.
Other areas available are:
- 677 Marimba Park – Flat Site
- 308 Prospect – Commercial Site
- High Glen District – Hospital Site
- Mabelreign Shopping Centre – mixed Use Development
- Market Square – This is a potential development for a world class terminus and some commercial properties
- There are school sites in Glen View and Budiriro
- We are also going to convert a portion of Sherwood Golf Course for commercial purposes.
For the District Administration Division we are looking for infrastructure development for:
- 8 Home industry sites in (Hatcliffe, Kuwadzana, Kambuzuma, Mufakose and Mabvuku)
- 4 Flea-markets sites
- Chalets at Cleveland Dam
- Greenwood Park
- Ballatyne Park
- Tomo Park
- Glen Norah Park
- Kuwadzana Park
- Upgrading of Mbare Musika Bus Terminus, here we are looking at installation of:-
- Automated boom-gates
- Palisade fencing
The Department Of Works has investment areas in:-
Rehabilitation of road network
Managing traffic control systems, e.g. traffic lights, flyovers, etc.
Public lighting (solar powered)
Managing solid waste
Waste to energy
Acquiring refuse trucks
Our farms are also in need of investments in the following particular areas
- Security for farms
- Manufacturing organic fertilizer from sludge from sewer ponds
- Boosting our cattle herd
- Smart water meters
Those companies who seriously want to invest in the City of Harare must:
Be registered companies
Show their commitment by submitting their proposals to the Town Clerk’s Office
Follow the due process of registering their intention to invest in the country through Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) in the case of foreign-registered companies.
I now wish to thank you ladies and gentlemen for your support and interest in investing in the City and pray that you are going to benefit from this conference and that we shall work together as we make Harare the jewel of Africa.
I thank you.