From : Theindependent.co.zw
By : Happiness Zengeni
2 March 2012
BUSINESS Council of Zimbabwe chairperson David Govere set up 10 imperatives that will help the country achieve the growth inncluding having a clear national vision, which will result in national confidence building.
Speaking at the KM CEO Roundtable held in Victoria Falls last month, Govere said Zimbabwe had lost its position within the Sadc and its initial challenge is simply to climb back.
“As stated by many before, Zimbabwe’s economy was the second most industrialised and second largest in the Sadc region. Based on the official 2010 GDP figures where Zimbabwe’s gross domestic product was US$6.7 billion,” he said.
In GDP terms, the Zimbabwean economy was less than 2,5% of South Africa whose GDP was US$329 billion and less than 10% of the Angolan economy GDP of US$120 billion. The Zimbabwean economy was less than 1% of the Brazilian economy GDP US$1,4 trillion, less than 50% of the economies of Zambia, Namibia and Botswana whose GDPs were all above US$14 billion. The Zimbabwean economy was also slightly smaller than Swaziland’s but only marginally higher than Lesotho, Malawi and Seychelles, while Mauritius, with a population below 10% of Zimbabwe, had an economy at least 50% larger than Zimbabwe.
Govere said that infrastructure development, financing of agriculture, value addition of minerals and cluster development would all work towards full public and private sector partnerships.
It was noted that Zimbabwe had to promote competitiveness and productivity by closely looking at and containing labour costs and work ethics.
The conference was told that ethics and governance were missing in the Zimbabwean economy where CEOs were beginning to behave like politicians with several promises being made but nothing coming to fruition.
Govere said there had to be a unique selling point. He laid out the action plans where the various industry bodies in the country would take a lead on. The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries would pursue the development, growth of the energy sector, Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce would be in charge of transport and the Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe would look into cluster development.
Govere said that it was important that people looked into developing clusters around areas where resources were found, for example developing Lupane around the teak plantations, Marange around diamonds and Redcliff around Ziscosteel. This would create a sense of belonging to community around that resource. Victoria Falls, Govere noted had all the features of being an ICT and commercial hub for the region.
In terms of business confidence and corporate governance, the Bankers’ Association of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Council of Tourism would be responsible for the action plans while the Chamber of Mines would deal with mineral value addition.
Govere said an “out of the pit climb” matrix could be achieved by managing the country risk, creating a favourable investment climate and exploiting the quick wins in mining, agriculture and tourism in the short-term and restoring manufacturing while exploiting economic integration in the medium term. Interesting outcomes could be obtained as summarised below:
Under the projections with an average 10% GDP growth, it will take Zimbabwe 25 years, ie up to 2036 to reach the $108,34 billion mark. If a 12,5% growth is applied then it will take 20 years (ie up to 2031) to achieve a GDP of US$105,45 billion.
Govere said that the US$100 billion vision was possible and with determination the goal was within grasp.
He said all that was needed was a reality check: “We have to manage the country risk by creating a favourable investment climate. On the whole the prosperity agenda is lacking, the past generation brought a sense of nationhood without necessarily bring the prosperity agenda to the fore.”
Kenias Mafukidze, who is the convener of the conference, said the starting point was that the vision had to be in the mindset of the people.