Africa Round TableFrom : Allafrica.com
By  : Golden Sibanda

14 February 2012

THE fourth session of the KM Financial Solutions CEO Africa Roundtable starts on Thursday in Victoria Falls and focus will be on imperatives to achieve the US$100 billion economy target by 2040. Preparations have reached an advanced stage with most of the high-profile speakers having confirmed their participation at the event.

While the last edition sought to secure stakeholder buy in to the US$100 billion target, this year’s session will focus on the practical requirements and key enablers required to attain the target.

KM Financial Solutions business development executive Mr Partridge Sibanda said they expect 200-250 delegates to attend the conference.

Among the high-profile delegates expected are Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa secretary-general Mr Sindiso Ngwenya who will be guest speaker, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, Finance Minister Tendai Biti, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Engineer Walter Mzembi and Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube. The guest of honour is yet to be confirmed.

Mr Sibanda said Business Council of Zimbabwe president Mr David Govere would lead captains of industry at the conference. Further, an as yet to be named high profile representative is also expected from the United Nations Development Programme.

Mr Sibanda said a number of breakaway sessions had been provided for, focusing on issues such as the role of pension, insurance and fund managers and key infrastructure in attaining growth targets.

The sessions will also discuss regional integration in the US$100 billion economy, building a strong middle class and transforming Zimbabwe’s economy into a competitive regional hub. The role of private sector in building a US$100 billion economy and tackling the debt overhang will also come under the spotlight.

Delegates will also share insight into practical lessons that can be drawn from less resource-endowed countries such as Rwanda.

KM Financial Solutions contends that Zimbabwe needs to start putting its energies and efforts together as the US$100 billion target will be a result of these collective efforts. Apart from the US$100 billion target the country set sights on reducing unemployment from about 80 percent in 2010 to 30 percent.

Bank deposits, which reflect growth in the economy, are expected to increase from the current US$3,2 billion to US$20 billion.

Savings, as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product, are projected at 20 percent of GDP in 2040 while exports are estimated at US$40 billion by 2040 from US$4,4 billion at present. Massive investment and rehabilitation will be required in power generation to raise capacity from 1 750 megawatts in 2010 to

36 000MW by 2040 to sustain incremental economic growth.

Resources will also be required to build and rehabilitate roads from 9 000 kilometres in 2010 to about 36 000km by 2040.

Zimbabwe has the potential to achieve the targeted economic growth provide resources and focus are directed at the right things.

The business environment will have to improve drastically, policy consistency needs to be adhered to religiously.

Under current economic challenges, compounded by tight liquidity, Zimbabwe is expected to grow by 9,4 percent this year.

The fact the economy has grown at almost double-digit rates after a decade of recession means the country possesses massive potential for sustained growth under a multi-currency regime.