Zimbabwe Cricket Ventures into Victoria Falls with High-End Stadium for Sports Tourism

Estimated read time 4 min read

Zimbabwe Cricket, in a groundbreaking move, is set to become the first major investor in Victoria Falls’ high-end Masuwe Special Economic Zone. This investment venture marks a significant stride towards enhancing sports tourism in the region and comes as part of a broader strategy to bolster tourism infrastructure. The cornerstone of this initiative is the construction of a state-of-the-art 10,000-seat cricket stadium, with the ambitious aim of completing it within just two years. Zimbabwe Cricket’s commitment to this project also aligns with its aspiration to host the 2026 Under-19 World Cup.

The development of the Masuwe Special Economic Zone was approved by the Cabinet following a comprehensive feasibility study. This zone, nestled on the Jafuta Masuwe Estate, aims to enhance the appeal of Victoria Falls, particularly for high-end tourists, by providing critical infrastructure. The government’s initiative through the Mosi-oa-Tunya Development Company (Pvt) Ltd seeks to facilitate the expansion of Victoria Falls as a global tourism destination. The aim is to create a multifaceted offering that attracts visitors for longer stays, further boosting the local economy.

The Board of the Mosi-oa-Tunya Development Company, chaired by Mrs. Sheila Sidambe, was appointed in 2021 and charged with the responsibility of expediting feasibility studies, undertaking due diligence, and driving the company’s investment initiatives in Victoria Falls. It is expected to deliver infrastructure development in line with the National Development Strategy (NDS1), which extends until the end of 2025. The project envisions the transformation of the Masuwe area into a special economic zone, which is anticipated to be highly profitable and plays a pivotal role in the expansion and development of Victoria Falls.

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The development concept of Masuwe City includes a range of high-end facilities such as a five-star convention center, flagship hotels and villas, a golf estate, medical tourism facilities, a central business district, international service centers, and upscale residential units. The project’s journey began effectively in July 2020, with Cabinet approval granted in the same year. This marked the way for the project’s detailed planning and implementation.

Zimbabwe Cricket’s enthusiastic participation in this venture, starting with the construction of the cricket stadium, is a significant milestone. This investment will not only shape the future of sports tourism in Victoria Falls but also attract various other investors looking to contribute to the success of this project.

The groundbreaking for the stadium, which is set to take place in the first week of December, is indicative of the project’s rapid progress. It is expected to be funded mainly through grants from the International Cricket Council, with investments ranging from $5 million to $10 million. This pivotal move positions Zimbabwe as an attractive destination for international sporting events, and the under-construction stadium serves as a symbol of the country’s aspirations in the world of cricket.

The Permanent Secretary, Dr. Takaruza Munyanyiwa, highlighted the significance of this development as it paves the way for diversifying tourism products and packages. Furthermore, this venture will elevate Victoria Falls’ status as a sporting hub and a center for meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions (MICE) alongside its already prominent tourism sector.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Tongai Mnangagwa, expressed excitement about the positive impact of the stadium project, indicating that the World Cup would potentially be hosted there in two years’ time. The collaborative efforts between the government and Zimbabwe Cricket have ironed out any obstacles, and the necessary agreements are set to be signed, making this endeavor a reality.

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This monumental step forward not only elevates Victoria Falls as a multifaceted tourist destination but also enhances the appeal of Zimbabwe as a host for international sports events, providing a boost to the nation’s tourism and economy. This initiative aligns with the government’s vision to position Victoria Falls as a conference capital, focusing on MICE and now, international sports, to diversify its offerings and enhance its appeal on the global stage.

With a comprehensive masterplan in development to guide the implementation of the entire project, the stage is set for Victoria Falls and Zimbabwe to make a significant mark in the world of sports tourism.

In this exciting phase of development, Zimbabwe Cricket has taken the lead, paving the way for numerous other investors who share the vision of transforming Victoria Falls into a thriving hub for high-end tourism and sporting events. It’s a historic moment that signifies the nation’s commitment to diversifying its economy, further showcasing its rich potential on the global stage.

Mandla Ndlovu

Meet Mandla Ndlovu, our Editor-in-Chief at ZimScribes Online Magazine. With a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for diverse narratives, Mandla curates and leads our team in delivering captivating and thought-provoking content that celebrates the rich tapestry of Zimbabwe's culture, people, and experiences

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