Zimbabwe had announced on Sunday, plans to open a new stock exchange by using the attraction of Victoria Falls and turning the resort into an international financial centre which will be known as Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX).
Foreign investors have seemingly lost interest in the country’s capital markets, so the aim of opening VFEX is to lure investors back thus building global capital and targeting most specifically, the mining sector. VFEX will trade in foreign currency only.
The modus operandi is to mirror the likes of other offshore centres in Africa, such-as Mauritius, who is a standout offshore financial centre. Internationally, these types of centres are found in the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong and the EU (Luxembourg & Netherlands).
Frustrations mount as delays are being experienced at the Chirundu border. Zimbabwean officials have been instructed to move down south and inspect vehicles sitting at truck stops in order to combat potential smuggling thus resulting in slower processing at the “control zones”, in turn a queue has formed reaching a distance of 10km.
Just north, Zambia is still fully trading despite having 139 confirmed cases and 4 confirmed deaths due to the Coronavirus with no indication that the country will enter a lockdown anytime soon.
South Africa entered its first week of “Level 4” lockdown, as businesses slowly resume operations under very strict government regulations. Only a specified list of industries has reopened and most at a third of their work force. This coupled with the additional regulations surrounding work areas, PPE, health screening and social distancing has companies and individuals alike struggling to find their footing in the new business world. We must call on one another, not only as South Africans but as Africans to remain positive, hopeful but most importantly safe during this trying time.
“Unity, to be real, must stand the severest strain without breaking.”