Dec 01, 2010 (The Herald/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) –
ZIMBABWE-focussed conglomerate LonZim, says it remains confident about the country’s potential for economic recovery adding this was now more evident.
LonZim chairman Mr David Lenigas said the firm’s local operations showed strong growth in turnover as the economy makes progress towards recovery.
He said the forecast recovery and growth in the main sectors of mining, agriculture and tourism would underpin the recovery process.
The company is listed on the London Alternative Investment Market, with interests in various economic sectors elsewhere in Africa.
“LonZim is reporting strong growth in turnover as the economy in Zimbabwe shows signs of recovering. LonZim remains confident that Zimbabwe has great economic potential for economic recovery,” said Mr Lenigas.
In his 2011 National Budget Finance Minister Tendai Biti forecast that mining would grow by 47 percent, agriculture by 31 percent and tourism by 7 percent.
Gold, platinum and chrome are expected to leverage growth in mining while tobacco, sugar and cotton would support growth in the agriculture sector.
Political stability since the formation of the inclusive Government in February last year, subsequent economic stability and marketing of the country’s prime attractions resulted in an increase in tourist arrivals and receipts.
The economy is expected to grow by 8,1 percent this year and a further 9,3 percent next year.
Against this background, LonZim has hinted it would continue to support the growth of local operations to benefit from the evident economic recovery.
The firm recently raised US$8 million through placing of 4,3 million ordinary shares to existing and new institutions and the money will go to working capital.
In Zimbabwe, LonZim owns 61 percent of locally listed Celsys, which is into security printing, information technology and telecommunications.
It also owns 100 percent of Millpal, 51 percent stake in pharmaceutical distributor Panafmed and 51 percent in mobile software producer ForgetMeNot.
In addition, the company owns 100 percent of electronic transfer solutions Paynet and 100 percent of the exquisite Leopard Rock in the Eastern Highlands.
Outside Zimbabwe, Lonrho owns 79 percent of Adeamento Turistico de Macuti Hotel in Mozambique and is planning a number of investments in and outside Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, Lonzim’s 51 percent-owned UK subsidiary ForgetMeNot Africa has struck an agreement with Essar Group’s Republic of Congo mobile phone operator Warid Congo to access FMNA’s unified messaging platform.
The messaging platform allows Warid Congo 450 000 subscribers access to low cost Internet messaging on first generation, SMS enabled mobile phones.
The Internet based messaging platform deployed in the Congo increases market potential for the LonZim subsidiary by including the French speaking people in Africa whose total population is estimated at 100 million.
“The partnership with Warid Congo is FMNA’s first deployment in Central Africa, after previous deployments in East, West and southern Africa, with a contract signed in Zimbabwe and several more deployments planned.
“The deployments with Econet Telecom Lesotho, Kenya’s Safaricom and yu and Nigeria’s Glo Mobile are already providing access to mobile email and online chat for more than 42 million Africans,” said ForgetMeNot Africa.
FMNA chief operating officer Mr Jeremy George said the sixth deployment of this technology signified the huge potential to expand its adoption across Africa.
He said their cloud computing approach turns basic handsets into virtual messaging smartphones, providing Internet messaging to people who would not be able to access Internet services for economic and technical reasons.