Zimbabweans prefer foreign investment to indigenisation for job creation

Macroeconomics and markets

A majority of Zimbabwean citizens strongly support encouraging foreign direct investment in comparison with the indigenisation of the economy as a means to create jobs. An overwhelming majority (72%) subscribe to the sentiment that foreign direct investment is the way to go in terms of rejuvenating the Zimbabwean economy. Zimbabweans have over the past two years maintained their preference for encouraging job creation through foreign investment rather than the indigenisation of the economy by taking over foreign owned companies, despite the preference having dropped by six percentage points from 78% in 2012 to 72% in 2014.

These results come in at a time when the Zimbabwean economy is experiencing a downward spiral, with an estimated unemployment rate of over 80%,and there is consensus among political parties and the civil society on the need to stop the freefall of the country’s economy and empowering the citizens of Zimbabwe. However, there is no policy consensus regarding the methods of achieving these goals. There are two contrasting viewpoints that dominate the debate on empowerment in Zimbabwe. The first school of thought (indigenisation) is popularised by the ruling party, ZANU-PF whilst the second paradigm; that of encouraging foreign investment, is mainly popular with the opposition parties, particularly the MDC-T.

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