Wednesday 13 March 2024


The reality about Zimbabwe is worlds apart from the image portrayed in the West, with abundant investment opportunities, talented personnel and a Government that has created a conducive environment for businesses to thrive, forming the true picture that this country is, a group of United States investors has said.

The US delegation, which left Zimbabwe on Tuesday night, was in the country on a three-day visit facilitated by the US Commercial Service and the Zimbabwean Embassy in Washington DC.

In an exclusive interview with The Herald just before their departure, CyberAlliance co-founder Mr Larry Yon said they were “surprised” by the rich opportunities that exist in Zimbabwe especially considering the negative misconceptions pushed by the West.

He said the three-day visit had shown them that Zimbabwe was indeed open for business as what they had experienced was far from what they had expected before touching down.

“I think Zimbabwe is rich with opportunities, to be honest, it was refreshingly surprising because in the US a lot of people have not been to Zimbabwe so when you ask people or tell them where you are going, there’s apprehension or doubt but one of the things that we have felt in the last few days is being very welcome.

“People say Zimbabwe is open for business and we felt that and we wanted to also show the same in terms of the US also being open for business for Zimbabwe, this is because what we saw on the ground is completely different from what we were expecting.

“We wanted to be able to come to the market but come the right way, so for us and our business model it’s important that we partner with local partners on the ground because they understand the nuances on how to engage here,” he said.

Mr Yon said they were looking to invest in digital technologies across all sectors of the country’s economy.

“And the reason we say all (sectors) is because so many of Zimbabwe’s sectors are trying to digitalise and so many of their sectors are leveraging technology to grow products, food and sell them.

“So all those things are underpinned by technology and Zimbabwe is a safe environment for them to be able to operate those businesses,” he said.

The US investors signed an MoU with CEO Africa Roundtable, a development Mr Yon said had set the tone for continued engagements with Zimbabwe.

“The MoU that we signed with CEO Africa Roundtable was our first step in engaging in Zimbabwe. We are in several countries across the continent and now there is such a renewed interest for the US and Zimbabwe to be able to develop commercial and cultural ties.

“We are a cyber-security technology company based in the US but we do have a focus on Africa and that focus primarily is on making sure that the promise of technology is realised and is inclusive in all sides of the spectrum of the economy not just the big businesses but also we have the availability of cyber security technology solutions even for small businesses as well,” he said.

His counterpart and co-founder Mr Kendrall Felder said they had been impressed by Zimbabwe’s rich human resources.

“One of the things that we have experienced is how talent-rich the country is, in terms of the story that’s told internationally you don’t expect to come and experience such talented individuals. Zimbabwe is one of the most literate countries across the entire continent, our visit to Zimbabwe was an absolute success,” he said.

CyberAlliance, said Mr Felder, was also looking to contribute to Zimbabwe’s development through employment creation.

“This is an opportunity to help create jobs within the country and not only create jobs but also be able to upskill and reskill the talent that is here on the ground, to be able to take those cyber security jobs so that it isn’t outside resources coming in to get those well-paying jobs but also position that talent to be able to participate in the global cyber security ecosystem,” he said.

Zimbabwe continues to charm all first-time visitors and investors who are heeding President Mnangagwa’s “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra.

Another delegation of US investors is also currently in the country for a week-long visit, signalling how Zimbabwe is truly open for business and is a friend to all and enemy to none as enunciated by President Mnangagwa.

CyberAlliance is looking to invest in digital technologies and aid Zimbabwe’s modernisation.

This is in sync with the continued call for the public and private sectors to adopt new digital technologies to spur the country’s efforts towards the attainment of Vision 2030. Herald


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