A forum on Zimbabwe hosted by the German-African Business Association and international law firm Pinsent Masons this week heard that the government of new president Emmerson Mnangagwa was showing signs of a willingness to re-engage international investors to boost the ailing economy, organisers said on Thursday.

Speakers at the meeting held in Johannesburg noted that Mnangagwa, who was sworn in late last year after veteran president Robert Mugabe stepped down under military pressure, had made encouraging commitments, including dealing with Zimbabwe’s land tenure problems, and largely scrapping a controversial “indigenisation” law compelling foreign companies to sell majority shares to locals.

Mnangagwa, who will steer the country ahead of elections later this year, has the difficult task of trying to kickstart an economy struggling to recover after a decade long decline triggered by its controversial land reforms and worsened by withdrawal of aid from foreign donors who clashed with his predecessor over policy.

Businessman George Manyere, the founder and CEO of MHMK Infratech and vice chairman of JSE-listed Ecsponent Limited said Mnangagwa’s goverment had to make radical changes and put in place policies that were legally sound in order to sustainably grow the economy and slash high unemployment.

“A regulatory backed economic turnaround will resonate with foreign investors,” Manyere told the forum.