By Tendai Sahondo
THE ministry of tourism environment and hospitality has reaffirmed its commitment to the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ (EDB) Reforms which will go a long way in marketing the country as a safe and desirable tourist destination.
The EDB reforms are being spearheaded by the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) aimed at streamlining and reforming all government ministries, agencies and parastatals so as to attract investments into the country.
Speaking in a speech read on his behalf at a recent EDB reform workshop, Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Permanent Secretary Munesu Munodawafa said the ministry is gaining momentum in implementing the critical reforms.
“We are committed to promoting our country as a must visit destination with the reforms underway. We have started gaining some momentum on the legislative and administrative reforms. We have since crafted some principles to amend the tourism, environment and investment aspects of our legislation which we have since submitted to the Attorney General’s office.
As part of our reform efforts, The Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority (Zimparks) has already started reducing their fees, especially on the dealer license front. The forestry commission has also reduced fees in line with the requests from industry,” he said.
Munodawafa urged all other partner ministries to implement the requisite tourism related reforms that will spearhead the sector to contribute meaningfully to the economy.
“We are aware that the EDB reforms will facilitate adequate investment both from local and foreign investors. However challenges remain in the land policy, especially when investors come into the country seeking for investment opportunities, we do not have a clear path on how they can access land for touristic development. Therefore, we are happy that the local government is committed to addressing this issue.
“It is important to note that tourism cannot function without the requisite tourism infrastructure, so we are really happy that we have come to a stage were all the government entities and agencies are reforming to ensure that we have fertile ground to grow and nurture the sector,” he added.