Zimbabwe is without question one of the most resource endowed countries in the whole world. Over 40 different types of minerals occur in the country with the ones most exploited at the moment including the likes of gold, diamonds, platinum, coal, nickel and chromite. These and other natural resources—such as geographical features, flora and fauna—present within the country’s borders offer a countless number of opportunities to the enterprising mind. Compiled here are some of the natural resources found in each of the country’s provinces. The two metropolitan provinces, Harare and Bulawayo, were omitted for brevity—it can be argued that the biggest resource that these two have to offer, relative to the rest of the country, is their large pools of skilled workforce.
The province is in the eastern part of Zimbabwe which borders Mozambique. Manicaland is home to the highest mountain in Zimbabwe, Mt Nyangani which is found in the Nyanga National Park. The second highest waterfall in Africa, Mtarazi is also found in the province. All this makes the province one of the best tourism destinations the country has to offer. Manicaland is also renowned among bird watchers and is also considered to be a great hiking destination. The province is also home to the famed Marange diamond fields. Some of the opportunities which one can seize in Manicaland include:
- Taking advantage of the province’s wide and varied agricultural activity to venture into food processing
- Building businesses around leisure, tourism and hospitality
- Venturing into the mining and/or value addition of some of the minerals found in the province which include diamonds, phosphates, vermiculite and tantalite
Besides the opportunities in agriculture offered by the province (which include the cultivation of tobacco, soya beans, cotton and citrus) the province also has several tourist spots such as Umpfurudzi game reserve, Tsambe Game Park, the Mazowe/Arcadia dams and the Sohwe falls. Minerals such as gold, nickel and platinum are also found and mined in Mashonaland Central. The province, therefore, offers opportunities in agriculture—including the cultivation of the earlier mentioned cash crops tobacco, soya beans and cotton—in addition to tourism and mining.
Mashonaland East boasts the largest lithium deposits in Africa (and the 6th largest in the world) which are found in the Goromonzi District. For those who don’t know, lithium is nowadays used in the making of power storage devices ranging from cellphone batteries to those used in renewable energy systems. The largest black granite deposits in the country are also found in the province. Mashonaland East offers opportunities in:
- The mining of lithium
- The mining, cutting and polishing of granite and
- Food processing
Home to the Chinhoyi Caves and Lake Kariba, Mashonaland West already has a thriving tourism industry. The province has the highest number of water bodies in the country. Other attractions include Mutusadonha National Park, Kariba Recreational Park and Mana Pools. The province also has a thriving agricultural sector which produces crops such as maize, tobacco, wheat, cotton, soya bean, horticultural products (e.g. flowers, peas, green beans and tomatoes) and bananas. The province also has a beef and dairy industry. Minerals such as platinum, gold, copper, chrome, zinc, graphite, limestone and dolomite are also found in the province. Business opportunities can therefore be found in the agriculture, mining and tourism sectors.
Masvingo province has opportunities in agriculture, tourism and leisure, mining and energy production. The province is home to Gonarezhou National Park and ancient Great Zimbabwe ruins monument, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Masvingo also has diamond and lithium deposits, not to mention those of precious and semi-precious stones such as alexandrite. The Tokwe Mukosi dam, Lake Mutirikwi and the Manyuchi dam present a potential for hydro-electrical power production in the province. The presence of large sugar plantations in the province also means that there is a potential for the production of ethanol and other sugar by-products such as molasses.
Matabeleland North boasts the Victoria Falls—the waterfall and the resort town—both of which are the country’s most popular tourist destinations. The country’s largest game park is also found in Matabeleland North. Huge deposits of coal and coal bed methane gas are found in parts of the province. Other minerals which are found in the province are gold, lithium and tin. Around 40% of Zimbabwe’s electrical power is generated in Hwange which demonstrates the potential for energy and power development projects in the province. The province, therefore, offers hugely attractive opportunities in tourism, mining and energy development.
The Matabeleland South province is blessed with a wide variety of minerals such as gold, platinum, copper, emeralds, lithium, tungsten, asbestos, nickel and diamonds. The province also has huge untapped deposits of other minerals such as arsenic, bismuth, chromium, limestone and coal. The province’s vast open grazing lands, most of which cannot presently be sustainably cultivated, make it particularly suited for the rearing of livestock. The generally lower population density of the province—coupled with its climate and land which cannot be used for farming—has in recent years made areas in the province attractive targets for the development of solar power projects. Matabeleland South is also home to the Matopos National Park which has the largest concentration of leopards and is home to the endangered white rhino. The province, therefore, has huge opportunities in the mining and to a somewhat lesser extent, tourism.
Much of the Great Dyke lies in the Midlands province which makes it the mineral hub of the country. 18 different minerals are mined in the province and it happens to have the highest number of gold deposits in the country. The province also boasts various tourist attractions such as the Antelope Park and Chirisa game parks, the Sherwood Conservancy and the Gandavaroyi Falls. The province is one of the country’s biggest producers of cotton. Opportunities abound in the extraction and value addition of minerals such as gold, chrome and lithium. Opportunities can also be found in agriculture and tourism.