HARARE – South Africa-based Zimbabwean businessman Frank Buyanga yesterday said his main focus was to bring in wealth in the country as it was possible to make Zimbabwe the wealthiest per-capita state in the world.
In an interview, Buyanga said he will continue striving to assist and help for the country’s economy to grow especially during this new dispensation.
“My focus and key strategy is to bring wealth to Zimbabwe. It is possible to make Zimbabwe the wealthiest per-capita state in the world, with the right policies and strategies.
“The new Zimbabwe that’s taking shape right now is a democracy, and I believe that’s what will shape its global reputation as a safe state, which is the first step of attracting the kind of investment the country needs to really get going. As long as the judiciary, the military and the executive don’t get in the way of each other, the rights and interests of all citizens will be upheld,” he said.
Last week, Buyanga said he planned to establish a fund to empower youths in the country and also help capitalise the sovereign wealth fund (SWF).
According to reports from South Africa, the entrepreneur said this was in response to calls by the new administration of President Mnangagwa, which desperately needs investment to revive its economy, which collapsed under long-time former President Mr Robert Mugabe.
The businessman, who resides in Johannesburg has offered to help capitalise the youth fund, which he said can assist start-ups and grow the economy.
Zimbabwe, which is heavily indebted and has a very high unemployment rate estimated at more than 80 percent, has been unable to fund youth business projects, much to the detriment of small-scale enterprises.
Buyanga earlier this year wrote to the Zimbabwean Government to offer his assistance in setting the wealth fund.
In the letter, Buyanga noted:
“As Africa Medallion Group (AMG), we want to be part of the new Zimbabwe by helping our SWF reach its goals and also get the necessary financial ability to do so.”
He said the AMG balance sheet had exceeded R10 billion (about US$670 million) in a relatively short period of time and was storing gold purchased and related material at locally obtained secured vaults.
“As an entrepreneur, I am aware that at this moment, when the fiscus is stretched so thin and has nothing to spare, the practicality of SWF for Zimbabwe is then close to impossible,” Mr Buyanga said.
“However, with our assistance together we can make it a reality.”
A SWF or sovereign investment fund is a state-owned investment fund that invests in real and financial assets such as stocks, bonds, real estate, precious metals, or in alternative investments such as private equity fund or hedge funds.
In June this year, the flamboyant businessman Mr Buyanga’s African Medallion Group (AMG) took control of South Africa-based, Pagliari Group, a subsidiary of Rand Refinery, which manufactures and supplies high quality minted products.