'Golf industry can bring $2bn'

GROWTH of the golf industry can help bring at least $2 billion into the Zimbabwean economy, a Tanzanian entrepreneur has said.

Infotech Investment Group of Tanzania chief executive, Ali Mufuruki, said golf brings visitors to the country, spurs new residential construction, generates retail sales and creates demand for a myriad of goods and services.

“The growth of the golf industry has a direct bearing on future jobs, commerce, economic development, tax revenues for a large number of Zimbabwe communities and industries,” he said.

“Over 200 000 jobs can be created, over 30 000 houses can be constructed and over $2 billion in Foreign Direct Investments over existing golf courses and new golf estate projects can be earned,” he added.

Mufuruki also indicated that the golf industry enables a number of other industries such as golf-related tourism and real estate development.

Golf tourism in Zimbabwe will offer huge potential to the industry, he said, adding that there was potential in packaging golf safaris given the country’s favourable weather conditions and world class facilities.

“We seek cooperation from stakeholders to come up with coordinated real estate and tourism strategy cohesive marketing strategy to create awareness of Zimbabwe as an investment and tourism destination,” the Tanzanian businessman said.

Mufuruki said he — through Golf Affairs Africa (GAA) — will work tirelessly with all stakeholders to develop, market and promote the golf industry in Zimbabwe.

“A state-of-the-art GAA Golf Academy will start effect January 2018 with enrolment set to start August 2017. This initiative will foresee many opportunities in reviving and developing golf in Zimbabwe and the entire Africa,” he said.

The organisation is also proposing to come up with a Zimbabwe Golf Course Policy, which would be used to guide the real estate and development and tourism.

“We have noted with concern over ignorance of many golf clubs in adherence to laid down environmental laws, poor marketing, and management of these community recreational facilities,” he added.

“We urge SMEs and big business to partner the golf industry including businesses owned by women and the youth, as part of broadening the ownership and control of the economy,” he said.

The tough global and domestic conditions should propel us to redouble our efforts, Mufuruki noted, working together as all sectors.

“In this regard, it is important to act decisively to remove domestic constraints to the growth.  We cannot change the global economic conditions, but we can do a lot to change the local conditions. Let us work together to turn the situation around,” he said.


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