Select a location

This selection will switch the site from presenting information primarily about Zimbabwe to information primarily about . If you would like to switch back, you may use location selection options at the top of the page.


Update: New Requirements for Special Economic Zone Designation

By Savannah Robinson


The Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (“ZIDA”) has introduced new requirements for Special Economic Zone (“SEZ”) designation. These requirements are outlined in the ZIDA (General Investments) regulations, Statutory Instrument 227 of 2023. The regulations provide for both investor licensing and registration, which are two separate processes.

Investor Registration and Licensing

For investor registration, all existing investment projects established without the ZIDA investment license are eligible, including those outside of an SEZ or a public-private partnership (“IPP”). To register, investors must submit the necessary documents as listed in the First Schedule and pay the specified fee. All applications for registration must be submitted electronically, unless permitted by the Agency.

Investor Grievance Response Mechanism

Additionally, the regulations include a provision for an investor grievance response mechanism (“IGRM”), aimed at settling early-stage investor grievances before they escalate into legal disputes. ZIDA aims to fully operationalize the IGRM in the first quarter of 2024, developing standard operating procedures and automation. By the end of the year, the process for lodging a complaint under the IGRM is expected to be fully automated.

Collaboration with Ministry of Finance

 ZIDA will also collaborate with the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development, and Investment Promotion to develop guidelines for Public-Private Partnerships (“PPPs”). These guidelines are intended to expand the PPP investment cycle and ensure that processes align with international best practices.

Application Process for SEZ Designation

To apply for SEZ designation, applicants must provide a comprehensive set of documents, including:

  1. company documents;
  2. shareholder/investor documents;
  3. a project concept note;
  4. proof of funds, proof of land title;
  5. an initial environmental and social-impact assessment; and,
  6. a schematic master plan.

Application fees include a designation application fee of US$1,000, a developer’s permit application fee of US$1,000, and an operator’s permit application fee of US$1,000. Applications can be sent physically to ZIDA or electronically to [email protected] or [email protected].


Overall, these new requirements and provisions aim to streamline the investment process in Zimbabwe and provide greater clarity and support for investors.