ICT sector investment opportunities in Zimbabwe and Africa

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I recently attended the NEPAD Business Foundation Implementing ICT Projects in Africa Workshop and the Zimbabwe Investment and Trade Conference. It was interesting to note that the message on ICT had a common theme.

High speed broadband has become the lifeblood of the knowledge economy and is fast becoming a human right, as well as a significant contributor to economic growth. The World Bank estimates that a 10% increase in broadband penetration could raise GDP by 1-2%.

Africa’s ICT sector will continue to grow rapidly over the coming decades, with the largest lion’s share of investment coming from private enterprise. Africa was long deprived of access to high-speed undersea data-transmission cables. Now there is ample international bandwidth within relatively easy reach of every country in Africa.

Some of the achievements so far:
1. Extremely accelerated rate of mobile penetration
2. Emergence mobile money services across Africa
3. Roaming without charges – Africa is the first in the world to introduce this.

According to the Zimbabwe Investment Authority, there are a number  of investment opportunities in the Zimbabwe ICT sector.  Some of the opportunities I noted include:

  • E-Business
  • Provision of Media Services
  • Supply of digitalisation equipment
  • Software development
  • Business process outsourcing
  • Rural communication (internet villages)
  • Data storage area networks
  • Hardware assembling
  • Call centres
  • integrated solution planning
  • Film industry & graphics
  • Multimedia development

ICT opportunities are not exclusive to Zimbabwe, but are available in Africa as a whole. Today we witness the education crisis within Africa which many believe ICT can help. Because of this crisis many vendors of technology are focusing on the education segment of their respective market.

Africa must wake up and take full advantage of the opportunities available. We must not stand aside and look while we wait for outsiders to come and solve our problems.

image source: http://www.euromonitor.com

The writer of this post,  Arnold Matimba, has 19 years experience in project & contract management gained in the UK and 3 years skills development in Southern Africa. Primary areas of expertise are project and contract organisation. His organisation, Avalanche Consulting, helps Sub-Sahara African business leaders make sustainable improvements to the performance of their organisations.


  1. Proprty Rights First says:

    ICT opportunities in Zimbabwe are not a big deal as those are available anywhere on the continent and beyond.

    What every investor, indigenous or otherwise is interested in is PROPERTY RIGHTS! No one want to start a business that will be invaded or taken over by big whigs. Or even nationalized (meaning those in power will rape the business to death) Just today on the front page of one newspaper its said some chefs with political connections want free shares in the US$500 million ethanol project.

    1. JamesM says:

      Right on! Investors put their money in those countries they believe their money will work for them and bring something in return. They are not going to part ways with their money in some banana republic where thieves and extortionists are going to make claims on it. A simple truth but boy is it hard to understand.

    2. Afrinvestment says:

      The article actually does say “ICT opportunities are not exclusive to Zimbabwe, but are available in Africa as a whole”. It’s an eye-opener to us in Diaspora and beyond.
      No-one is blind to the obvious political issues throughout Africa, but despite all that investors both from the East and the West are still flocking into Africa whether we like it or not. It’s business as usual, those with money invest and those without stand aside and criticise

  2. Nerudo says:

    Yes opportunities are there but take my word the people with the money and VC are the ones who dominate the current space and are coming to deep their roots here aswell.

    Yes there is an opportunity but there isnt money.

    1. Chanyani says:

      Your last sentence hit the nail on the head! There is a bit in mobile infrastructure but very little in the other areas listed.

      1. Nerudo says:

        You have a point there m8. Mobile is obviously low cost the software side that is. I’m sure that’s what you meant by infrastructure. Oh maybe I’m wrong 🙂

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