Competition has recently driven rapid expansion of telecommunications, particularly cellular voice and mobile broadband, in recent year. Continued economic instability and infrastructure limitations, such as reliable power, hinder progress. Compared to telephones or the postal service, the internet provides the easiest and cheapest way of communication between Zimbabweans in the country and their relatives, some of whom have gone abroad. The Postal & Telecommunications Regulatory Authority is the agency dedicated to regulating telecom activity in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe’s economy depends heavily on its mining and agriculture sectors. Following a decade of contraction from 1998 to 2008, the economy recorded real growth of more than 10% per year in the period 2010-13, before slowing to roughly 4% in 2014 due to poor harvests, low diamond revenues, and decreased investment. Growth turned negative in 2016. Lower mineral prices, infrastructure and regulatory deficiencies, a poor investment climate, a large public and external debt burden, and extremely high government wage expenses impede the country’s economic performance.
International financial institutions want Zimbabwe to implement significant fiscal and structural reforms. Foreign and domestic investment continues to be hindered by the lack of land tenure and titling, the inability to repatriate dividends to investors overseas, and the lack of clarity regarding the government’s Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Act.