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Scramble for Africa: British Investors Stampede for Zimbabwe

Harare - Rewind to the year 1881-1914 - better known as the New Imperialism - when European powers wrestled for the occupation, division an...

Harare - Rewind to the year 1881-1914 - better known as the New Imperialism - when European powers wrestled for the occupation, division and colonisation of the African rich continent - also referred to as the Scramble for Africa, Partition of Africa or the Conquest of Africa.   

In 1870, only 10 percent of Africa was under European duress - by 1914 the figure had increased to 90 percent - similarly at Independence in 1980, Harare was dominated by British multinationals, however, some withdrew their presence after the 2000 land reform programme.   

The Berlin Conference of 1884 regulated European colonisation and trade in Africa - signalling the launch of the Scramble for Africa - and the recent visit by Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa at Davos in Switzerland has triggered interest from a diverse business people - including British conglomerates who had deserted the nation during Robert Mugabe's era. 
President ED Mnangagwa Meets Harriet Baldwin in Harare Recently 

The sudden spiral interest was confirmed by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Trade (DIT) Director for Southern Africa, Elena Williams. 

“Wow! I’m blown away by the expressions of interest I’ve received since my visit to Zimbabwe last week. Tomorrow I will be delivering a briefing in Cape Town, and have more offers to consider. Keep them coming!” she said on Twitter.

Harriet Baldwin, the British Minister of State for Africa who made a maiden visit to Harare recently as a special envoy from British Premier Theresa May was equally optimistic that business would return to normal again. 

“I am pleased that my first overseas trip as Minister has been to Zimbabwe. The historic events the country has experienced over the last few months have created an opportunity to strengthen UK-Zimbabwe relations as part of a wider process of international engagement.

“The upcoming elections are a major milestone for the people of Zimbabwe. When I met President Mnangagwa, I said my government welcomed his commitment to hold credible, peaceful, free and fair elections monitored by international observers,” Baldwin announced. 

Relations between Harare and London have been frozen since 2000, with the arrival of Tony Blair brewing more epic clashes, with Zimbabwe eventually pulling out of the Commonwealth. 

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