• Overview of  the Six Priority Sector in Zimbabwe

    Communication Services

    The sector is divided into three categories i.e. telecommunications, postal/courier and computers. The telecommunications subsector is regulated by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ). The maximum number of firms allowed to operate fixed telephone services is two and currently there is one provider, Tel-one, a government owned company. Three cellular providers are providing mobile phone services namely, Econet (5.3 million subscribers); Telecel (1.7 million subscribers) and Net-one (1.4 million subscribers).

    POTRAZ also regulates the postal/courier sub sector and there are no restrictions on entry of suppliers of postal/courier services for delivery of parcels. In postal and courier services, the Government-operated Zimpost faced strong competition from 13 courier operators (both local and foreign owned).

    ZIMPOST has exclusive rights for the delivery of letters weighing less than 500 grammes. Zimpost currently operates 1 postal office for every 38000 people and is aiming to increase this to 1 postal office for every 25000 people in line with global benchmarks.  

     Construction and Related Engineering Services

    The Ministry of Public Works is the regulator for the construction and related engineering services in Zimbabwe. The sector has regulations that ensure conformance to high standards, compliance to set rules and regulations and ensuring fair practices prevail.


    Financial Services

    Zimbabweâ??s financial sector is sub divided into banking and deposit taking, insurance and pensions business, stock market and other financial institutions. The policy environment of the subsector is determined by three factors namely; legislation, investment guidelines and exchange controls. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) regulates the banking subsector and 100% foreign ownership is allowed.

    In the insurance and pensions industry, Old Mutual, a foreign insurer has the largest market share of more than 50%. The sector is regulated by the Insurance and Pensions Commission (IPEC). The Zimbabwe securities market has over 70 listed companies and a number of them are listed in other stock exchanges outside Zimbabwe such as South Africa and Botswana.  The Securities Commission of Zimbabwe regulates the securities market including the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE).


    Energy-related Services

    The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority regulates the sector. There is no restriction in power generation for both local and foreign investors and ownership of up to 100% is allowed. However, transmission and distribution is closed and reserved for the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company.

    Domestic power generation currently stands at approximately 1200 MW, against a national demand of 2200 MW- representing a substantial shortfall.  The shortfall is met through imports from Mozambique, Zambia and the DRC.  The Government is focused on providing support for increased generation capacity at Hwange and Kariba Power Stations through rehabilitation and maintenance works.

    With respect to liquid fuels, the petroleum industry had been deregulated, abolishing the previous system whereby a cluster of multinationals were used as sole importers, wholesalers and retailers. Today there are many licensed importers, wholesalers and retailers. Foreign operators must comply with the Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Act of 2007.


    Tourism Services

    The sector is sub divided into four sub sectors namely; hotels and restaurants, travel agencies, tour operators and tour guides. The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) regulates the sector and ZTAâ??s roles include setting and monitoring standards, tourism and investment promotion and licensing.

    The sector launched a new brand titled â??Zimbabwe: World of Wondersâ? and ZTA established marketing offices in China, Brazil, France, Germany, the UK, South Africa, USA and Malaysia. Currently ZTA is targeting markets in the East and the BRICS. The ZTA was also interested in increasing indigenous participation in the sector.

    The sector is facing many challenges which include, high costs of doing business, lack of capital, brain drain, battling negative perception of the country and travel warnings, poor accessibility (being land-locked).

    Under cross border supply there are no restrictions governing the supply of services from abroad. There are however, visa requirements for tourist visiting the country as given by the Immigration Act. There were restrictions in the export of domestic currency which has been offset by the shelving of the use of the domestic currency.

    There are no restrictions to new entries and foreigners can invest 70% foreign equity. Under mode 4, there are restrictions to employment of foreigners where visa and work permits are required and foreigners are only employed if nationals do not possess the knowledge and skills.


    Transport Services

    The sector is sub divided into four sub sectors namely; road transportation, railways, aviation and inland waters.  The road transportation sub sector is regulated by the Ministry of Transport and there are no restrictions on entry if they meet the qualitative requirements of the regulators.

    The railways sub sector has two main players, the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) and the Bulawayo Beitbridge Railway (BBR) a concessionaire who runs a railway line between Bulawayo and Beitbridge. Railway operations are presently monopolistic in nature. There are plans to create a regulatory authority that will result in opening up of the sector to more players.

    In terms of aviation, Zimbabweâ??s 8 airports are managed by the Civil Aviation Authority. The Airports are currently operating at less than 30% of capacity. The national airline, Air Zimbabwe, is faced with a number of challenges ranging from aging aircrafts, capital, management, wage and viability issues. Zimbabwe has concluded about 45 bilateral agreements for air transport, including with all SADC Member States. Due to brain drain, Zimbabwe needs to train safety inspectors and air traffic controllers. The aviation sub sector is already operating in an environment open for regional and international competition routes. Domestic routes are currently reserved for locally registered airlines and chartered flight permits are issued as and when necessary.

    There are 26 declared inland waterway bodies in Zimbabwe, with approximately 25000 small crafts. Some waterways are manned / partially manned, and the Ministry of Transport is responsible for issuing shipping permits. The inland waters sub sector is mainly dominated by domestic players but however, there are no restrictions to foreign entry in areas of boat construction or repairs, boat engine sales and provisions of boat hire services. Foreign shareholding is limited to not more than 49% for joint ventures and the companies should be locally registered.

    The sub sector suffers from a shortage of skills (marine qualifications, search and rescue capabilities etc) and there are plans to develop a cadetship programme. The sector has only 3 surveyors, 2 registrar of vessels, no harbour masters and 3 lake masters.

    Schedules of Commitments




    WTO Contact & Enquiry Point                                              SADC National Contact Point                                                  SADC Services Contact Point                                        
     Mrs. Beartrice Mutetwa
    Ministry of Industry and International Trade
    P. Bag 7708
    Telephone:   (263 4)     793 461
                           (263 4)  791820-7
    Telefax:         (263 4)  723765
                           (263 4)  705762
    E-mail:  bmutetwa@indandcom.co.zw
    Mr. Albert Ranganayi Chimbindi
    SADC National Contact Point
    Director for Multilateral Affairs
    Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    Samora Machel Avenue
    Monomotapa Building
    P O Box 4240
    Harare, Zimbabwe
    Tel:           (+263) 4 792797
    Fax:      (+263) 4 706293/705470
    Email:   archimbindi@yahoo.com;
    Mrs. Beatrice Mutetwa
    Ministry of Industry and Commerce
    13th Floor Mukwati Building
    Crn Fouth Street and Livingstone Avenue
    P. O. Box 7708
    Harare, Zimbabwe
    Tel: +263 4 793 461
    Fax: +263 4 251 488