Billionaire Nawab Shaji Ul Mulk, who is based in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, broke ground this week on a project that aims to build Africa’s tallest building and an accompanying tech hub north of the Zimbabwean capital city of Harare.
Zimbabwe, once seen as the bread basket of Africa, suffered economic collapse over the last two decades after former President Robert Mugabe began persecuting gays, unions, and the political opposition in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
In 2000, Mugabe infamously launched a “land reform” program that was supposed to have redistributed land from white commercial farmers to poor black residents and veterans of Zimbabwe’s liberation war. As white farmers were violently pushed off their land, farms were distributed to members of the ruling party, and the economy collapsed. Millions of Zimbabweans emigrated, and Mugabe clung to power until being ousted in 2017 and replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Now, as South African news outlet Independent Online reports, Ul Mulk is taking a chance with a massive investment:
The US$500 million Zim Cyber City is a mixed-use hi-tech park on the outskirts of Harare being developed by UAE-based industrial conglomerate Mulk International and was on Wednesday commissioned by Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The businessman said he hopes to alter the business perception on the landlocked Southern African nation which has been dogged by decades of economic collapse and hyper-inflation.
The facility, according to the State-owned publication, will also house the Mulk Tower which is projected to be the tallest building in Africa.
It is unclear how Ul Mulk plans to recoup his investment, given the fact that Zimbabwean economy remains very weak.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.