WASHINGTON DC —
Zimbabwe's Industry Minister Mike Bimha, said Monday the country needs $10 billion to revive its economy, which appears to be stalling under the newly-elected Zanu PF government.
Opening a three-day summit hosted by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) in Bulawayo, Bimha said a collective approach by all stakeholders is needed to achieve economy growth.
He also bemoaned company closures in Bulawayo, saying government should create a conducive business environment not only in the nation's second largest city but the country in general to attract foreign investment.
Running under the theme “Imperatives for Reversing Deindustrialization,” the CZI summit brings together captains of industry and economic experts to discuss company closures and proffer possible solutions.
Speaking at the same conference, CZI President Charles Msipa, urged government to address the flight of industries from Bulawayo and crack down on graft, which he said was impeding economic revival.
Until recently, Bulawayo was celebrated as Zimbabwe's industrial hub, but years of precipitous economic meltdown and government neglect have turned the city into a ghost town.
Hundreds of companies have either shut down or fled Bulawayo citing viability problems.
At the national level, many companies are reeling from a combination of factors, including sustained electricity cuts, water rationing and capital constraints.
The CIZ says industrial capacity utilization dipped this year from 44.9 percent to 39.6 percent due to some of these challenges.
Bulawayo Businesses Arise (BBA) official, George Mukamba, told VOA he was hopeful the CZI conference will find ways to rescue companies in the city and encourage national investment.