EuroMoney Zimbabwe Investment Conference – Will the real Frontier Investors please step forward…

Posted on March 2, 2011

EuroMoney have recently announced that they are hosting an investment conference focussed exclusively on Zimbabwe.  Interestingly, this appears to be the first international institutional investment conference on Zim, to actually be held in –country, and surely they are to be commended for this effort.

The line-up of speakers and panellists boasts of the very highest levels of political and industrial office and certainly the agenda has not shied away from the hot buttons surrounding Zimbabwe as an investment destination.

Just before the uprising, I was in Cairo at a similar event, which although more pan-African than Zimbabwe focussed, also saw our country in the limelight as it were.  We were amazed in fact at the response we had when hosting a round table discussion on Zimbabwe, and it was observed that the debate at our mini-function, went on long after all the other round table discussions had petered out and the participants retired to the bar!  What was evident from that event, was the immense goodwill Zimbabwe enjoys amongst the investment community (not all for altruistic reasons I’m sure)  but also how many qualified, experienced and driven Zimbabweans there are out in the diaspora who are yearning to come home, bringing skills, money, knowledge, energy and networks home with them.  The only thing holding them back appears to be the lack of job opportunities and a measure of confidence that we will not be “going back to Egypt” to coin a phrase.

So will the EuroMoney conference reveal anything new?  Some would argue that Zim is not ready for investment, whilst others are suggesting that if you wait to see a bandwagon, then it will already be too late.

Certainly recent pronouncements that suggest property rights are still not truly respected in Zimbabwe are a major stumbling block, but there are nevertheless real Frontier Market Investors who thrive on the high risk and high return promises of pre-emerging, somewhat exotic markets, such as ours.  Will these be the investors that EuroMoney attracts to next week’s forum?  Here’s hoping so because whilst our investment climate may not be for the faint hearted, our opportunities will surely show that fortune really does favour the brave.

Actually, I’m prepared to wager that those coming here for the first time, will leave with a radically different impression of our country to the one created for them by the media… we shall see.

 

One Response to “EuroMoney Zimbabwe Investment Conference – Will the real Frontier Investors please step forward…”

  1. Geoff Goss
    Mar 16, 2011

    I was right!