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Zimbabwe signs MOU with Chinese investors for ‘Disneyland in Africa’

The tourism minister says the project could push Victoria Falls’ revenue to USD 5 billion by 2020.

The Zimbabwean government has signed a memorandum of understanding with Chinese investors for the continent’s first Disneyland theme park.

The country’s Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi told the media at a press conference in June, the theme park would be located in Victoria Falls.

He was quoted by Newsweek as saying, “It’s time to mobilise that destination (Victoria Falls) and make it compete with other waterfall projects like Niagara (US-Canada border), Iguazu (Argentina-Brazil border) and elsewhere.”

The multi-million dollar project will spread out across approximately 300 hectares of land and is expected to include hotels, conference and entertainment venues, as well as retail and casino outlets.

Mzembi said construction could be finished as soon as 2020. He was quoted by New Zimbabwe as saying: “Already we are looking at 2020 where we are dreaming of a USD 5 billion tourism sector in Victoria Falls alone.”

The topic of economic reformation has been a burning issue for Zimbabwe. According to Forbes, unemployment in the country is at 95 percent. President Robert Mugabe has denied the country has a fragile economy. At the 2017 World Economic Forum in Durban President Mugabe said: “Zimbabwe is the most highly developed country in Africa.  After South Africa, I want to see another country as highly developed.”

Meanwhile, the Tourism Minister has steered away from naming the Chinese investors who are expected to bank roll the construction of the theme park. Mzembi told Newsweek that political and economic instability is not a concern in Zimbabwe anymore. He was quoted as saying several proposals have been received from investors in the United States, South Korea and the United Kingdom.

The LEX Africa member for Zimbabwe is Scanlen&Holderness.

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