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This is specifically in the case of South Africa, which has enjoyed the most benefit from the mining sector in the southern region. This benefit translated into further foreign direct investment flows of more than US$ 40 billion in 2021 alone, up from US$ 3 billion in 2020.

This is in contrast with Zimbabwe, which has been an investment pariah for the last two decades. Zimbabwe has not appropriated as much from its mining sector relative to South Africa, especially when viewed through the foreign direct investment lens. According to its central bank, the country garnered foreign direct investment proceeds of US$ 103 million for the year.

Regardless of the poor showing in FDI terms, the country has recorded a 33% rise in export earnings driven primarily by the mining industry to US$ 5.45 billion. This is to show that the mining sector is central to southern Africa’s economic development.