ON Friday, July 3, Mail & Guardian Africa held a Zimbabwe Trade and Investment Forum at the Hyatt Regency in Johannesburg, South Africa, to explore ways in which businesses could help generate an economic comeback for the country.
“Why?”, many asked ahead of the forum, “does Zimbabwe have anything to offer today?” Yes, the country has an incredible history, and institutional strengths that can serve it well. Here we look at 10 things about Zimbabwe, some of which will surprise those who follow only its controversial political story:
1. Zimbabwe hosted Africa`s first ever sponsored horse race, The Castle Tankard in 1960. This was two years ahead of Rothmans sponsoring South Africa`s famous Durban July. Aesthetically, Zimbabwe`s Borrowdale race course is considered to be one of the best looking tracks in the world.
2. Zimbabwe`s “Great Zimbabwe” is referenced by Vasco da Gama`s squire Tomé Lopes as the location for the Biblical region of Ophir. King Solomon received cargo of gold, silver, pearls and sandalwood from Ophir, every three years.