A harmful investment for Zimbabwe?

Anglo American logo behind an arm stretching out to donate.

TEXT OF STORY

Renita Jablonski: Anglo American, a London-based mining giant, is making one of the largest ever foreign investments in Zimbabwe. The company wants to build a platinum mine. Critics say the project will prop up the Mugabe regime. From London, Stephen Beard reports.


Stephen Beard: Anglo is going to spend more than $400 million building the mine in central Zimbabwe. The company claims it's acting out of a sense of responsibility. A spokesman said: we owe it to our employees, and the local community. But many politicians and campaigners have condemned the move.

Patrick Smith is editor of Africa Confidential magazine. He says Anglo's investment will provide some money and a big psychological boost for the Mugabe government:

Patrick Smith: The big impact of it at the moment will be the symbolic one, which is saying: Zimbabwe's a normal country -- it's open for business. It's a great place to go in and invest half a billion dollars.

He says Anglo's move underlines the ineffectiveness of economic sanctions against Zimbabwe. He says that three major financial institutions based in Britain -- among them Barclays bank -- still provide a financial lifeline for the Mugabe regime.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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