A new transformational paradigm for Zimbabwe

A new transformational paradigm for Zimbabwe
Published: 07 September 2018 (211 Views)
"The future of our country Zimbabwe depends on how we, Zimbabweans, imagine it through a new transformational consciousness"

I truly believe that Zimbabwe can be a great nation indeed once it unleashes itself onto a different trajectory unhindered by the clutches of a history of oppression, arrested development and fear.

The archaic paradigm of victimhood which accepts that we as Zimbabweans are incapable of creating our own prosperity and cannot create self-sustaining economy, despite the fact that we have all the necessary knowledge base spread all over the world and the necessary resources to do so, must surely be rejected by those of us who dare to imagine a new and prosperous Zimbabwe.

"Zimbabwe has been stagnant at the philosophical, the genesis, and the creative level and is stuck with an old paradigm with old philosophies which were not designed to prosper it. This has become the ultimate Zimbabwean nemesis" says Hannington Mubaiwa, senior partner at Stravena, a development consulting company based in the USA.

"Zimbabweans must realize that unless and until we crash the old and re-entrepreneur, (thinking of the next great possibilities), re-engineer, be creative and rebrand ourselves, we cannot innovate our market value on the global free enterprise market place to tap into capital. This capital is not from governments but in the free market." he says.

We must now create a paradigm which says that our country, Zimbabwe, has all it requires to become an upper middle income country by 2030. It is time for the re-awakening of our self-belief.

We must also believe that we can shape a self-sustaining inclusive economy with full employment without too much reiance on aid to determine what we can become.

In order to do that, we must look at other nations that have come out of worse conditions than our country is in. We can build a formidable economy if we choose to learn from countries and acknowledge and emulate what they did right. We can no longer give the responsibility of create the Zimbabwe we want to other nations.

The first step we must take is to build a compelling and inclusive national vision of a better future. This must be a collaborative effort. Once we have redefine the "what", we must then leave it to our technocrats and professionals all over the world to tell us how.

The vision of becoming an upper middle income economy by 2030 must be led by rapid industrialisation and urbanisation. We must no longer think primary product, but must think of manufacturing things and value adding in all sectors as we seek to retain value in our country so that we can create higher income jobs.

We must think of industrial hubs underpinned by free enterprise and economic freedom. We must think of servicing Africa as our primary market. We must think of regional integration in our infrastructure, ICT, and energy sectors. These are the conversations which are now necessary.

In my opinion for Zimbabwe to truly grow to its full potential it only takes us change our attitude that government is not the driver of growth. It is a facilitator. Our rapid growth has to be driven by businessmen and women, entrepreneurs, technicians, innovators and dreamers.

We have to target the growing African middle class with high end products and not only expect these to be imports from Asia. This requires that our investment policies  be inward looking as we grow a local vibrant business sector fuelled by our own savings. Entrepreneurship, innovation and risk taking with new ways of creating access to capital are therefore key.

The questions we must answer are;
How can we define a better future together and agree on what it will look like? How can we move towards that future now?
In my opinion, we must adopt the key principles that have led to the emergence of successful economies throughout history. These include continuous leadership renewal and accountability, meritocracy in both public and private sectors, rule of law and protection of private property, institutional renewal and delivery, economic freedom and inclusivity, agriculture and industrial revival, human capital preservation and development , effective and efficient resource management, infrastructure rehabilitation and development the promotion of domestic direct investment and lastly citizen empowerment, food security and poverty alleviation.

We now need a transformational mind-set which embraces innovation and change which is fuelled by long term capital. We now need to think outside the old paradigm on how we can create value as an economy and attract the necessary investment into the country without borrowing heavily.  
What is the plan?

We need a three pronged approach.
First on the agenda must be a recovery phase where we restore normality. This can be done by the establishment of the Zimbabwe Economic Recovery Fund.

In this recovery phase we must quickly deal with social welfare, health, poverty and access to basic services such as clean water, repair public utilities, infrastructure rehabilitation, agriculture production revival, industrial revival and stabilisation of the money markets.
Second, must be that of transformation where we begin to address our institutional framework and legislative reforms including the structure of governance both at national and local level.

We have to inculcate a new value system within the civic sector, public sector and private sector. More important must be devolution of both political and economic power and the establishment of the appropriate framework.

Here we will need significant investment drive which focuses on key economic and social transformation to create a viable economic architecture which is highly productive and inclusive.

Third must be the creation of sustainable development underpinned by investment in our human capital potential and investment in research and development as a country. In addition regional integration will play a key role in expanding both our capacity and access to markets as a country.
Because we don't  have own capital at the moment and in order to trigger our revival, we shall need an injection of long term "friendly" capital and it is indeed possible for us to package a $10-$20bn capital injection proposition from the private market place. Money always flows to well-articulated viable propositions.

Zimbabwe will rise but be first, is a new mind-set and the self-belief that indeed we can become what we imagine.
Vince Musewe is an economist and economic development policy advisor and you may contact him on vtmusewe@gmail.com

- Vince Musewe


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