RUVIMBO SANANGURAI and TATENDA.J. KACHITSA
Zimbabwe is no exception to the fact that China has actively participated in foreign direct investment in Africa. Energy and infrastructure are the main areas of
Chinese foreign direct investment in Zimbabwe. China has been performing well in these investments thanks to the Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to develop infrastructure and stimulate economic growth. Although these investments have been successful, it is debatable if they have had unfavourable consequences, such as endangering the environment in Zimbabwe or displacing people.
Chinese FDI has been helpful and difficult for Zimbabwe's sustainable economic development. On the other hand, Chinese investment has made a considerable contribution to the development of Zimbabwe's infrastructure, including the building of the National Sports Stadium, Kariba South Power Plant, and Victoria Falls Airport. These infrastructure improvements have aided in job creation and economic development.
In order to promote sustainable economic development in Zimbabwe, China has implemented a number of initiatives. The China-Africa Development Fund, which was founded in 2007 to encourage business partnerships and investments between China and Africa, is one such program. In Zimbabwe, the fund has contributed money to a number of initiatives related to infrastructure improvement, agriculture, and energy.
A number of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) have also been constructed by China in Zimbabwe with the goals of luring foreign investment, encouraging export-oriented growth, and generating employment. These SEZs target sectors including manufacturing, tourism, and mining and provide alluring incentives for investors, including tax reductions and streamlined regulatory procedures.
One significant instance is the $319 million loan from the fund in 2015 for the Kariba South Power Station Expansion Project. By increasing the power station's capacity from 750 MW to 1050 MW, this project hoped to help Zimbabwe's ongoing electricity shortages. The development of the Victoria Falls International Airport, the renovation of the Harare-Bulawayo railway line, and the expansion of the Hwange Thermal Power Plant are further initiatives that have benefited from money from the fund. Through enhancing infrastructure, generating employment, and luring investment, these initiatives are anticipated to accelerate economic growth and development in Zimbabwe.
On the other side, some of these initiatives have raised questions regarding their potential effects on the environment. For instance, the development of the Kariba South Power Station has caused the eviction of local residents and the possibility for environmental harm.
Concerns have also been raised regarding the labour standards of Chinese businesses doing business in Zimbabwe. Chinese investment has also come under fire for prioritizing resource extraction over more sustainable industries like manufacturing and agriculture. Zimbabwe's economy is now out of balance due to its excessive reliance on the export of raw minerals.
Chinese investment has also come under fire for prioritizing resource extraction over more sustainable industries like manufacturing and agriculture. Zimbabwe's economy is now out of balance due to its excessive reliance on the export of raw minerals.
By increasing trade and generating job opportunities, these infrastructure developments have improved Zimbabwe's economic growth. For instance, the Chinese government's funding of the Victoria Falls Airport development has increased tourists and strengthened the local economy. Similar to this, the National Sports Stadium's renovation has aided in luring important international sporting events, which have benefited the regional economy.
Concerns have been raised regarding how Chinese investment may affect the environment and nearby communities. Some detractors claim that Chinese businesses frequently put their own interests ahead of that of the local populace and that their investments may cause environmental damage and the eviction of nearby people.
Concerns have been raised regarding some of these projects' potential negative effects on the environment. For instance, the Kariba South Power Station project has caused environmental harm and the eviction of nearby residents. The project has drawn criticism for not making sufficient efforts to lessen its negative effects on the environment.
Another issue has been the labour practices of some Chinese enterprises operating in Zimbabwe. There have been reports of exploitation of labour, low wages, and bad working conditions. Workers have protested as a result, and the Zimbabwean government has been urged to take action.
Chinese investment in Zimbabwe has additionally come under fire for primarily concentrating on resource extraction as opposed to investing in more sustainable industries like manufacturing and agriculture. Zimbabwe's economy is now out of balance due to its excessive reliance on the export of raw minerals.
In conclusion, Chinese FDI has influenced Zimbabwe's sustainable economic development in both positive and negative ways. Although Chinese investment has helped to build infrastructure and create jobs, there are worries about its effects on the environment and labour conditions. It is crucial for Zimbabwe to strike a balance between luring in investment and making sure that it supports the nation's objectives for sustainable economic growth. The government should also put in place rules that encourage eco-friendly investment in industries with the potential to boost the national economy over the long run.
Chinese Foreign Direct Investment and Sustainable Economic Development in Zimbabwe