Zimbabwe should harmonise all sectoral targets, policies, regulations, enablers and institutions to create a competitive environment that makes it possible to deliver targets for attainment of Vision 2020, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZ) says.
The country’s largest industrial lobby group contends that Zimbabwe needs to align policies for mining, agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and energy, among others, which were enacted earlier, with the policy thrust of the National Development Strategy (NDS1).
NDS1, launched in October last year, is the Government’s latest medium term development strategy, to be executed through targets or programmes pronounced through successive national budgets over the policy period covering 2021-2025.
CZI chief executive Sekai Kuvarika, said in an interview after NDS1 was launched, authorities and stakeholders needed to come up with a strategy to harmonise the previous policy directions with the new holistic development policy framework.
Kuvarika said as things stand, there was no harmony amongst the many policies the Government developed in the past and those that came later, especially initiatives targeted under the country’s medium term development operating manual.
“What you see is that, there was the pronouncement of Vision 2030, then we had NDS1, which we agree with, but we then did not recalibrate everything else under NDS1; the sector policies and all regulations; they remained as they were.
“So, it is difficult to imagine we can come up with a whole national development strategy, and then the instruments to deliver that strategy remain as they were three to four years before that (national) strategy was developed,” Kuvarika said.
CZI, a major component of the national development matrix, feels that Zimbabwe remains mired in an incomplete cycle to deliver on its targets, a disconnection the industry lobby seeks to help resolve through a position paper on the proposed way forward.
Zimbabwe’s economy has suffered from the policies of the previous administration, led by late former President Robert Mugabe, which had a frosty and fractious relationship with the west, resulting in two decades long embargos that drove the economy to its knees.
When President Mnangagwa took over the reins in 2017, he declared that his Government would work to build a new Zimbabwe; a country with a thriving and open economy, capable of creating opportunities for investors and employment.
In this regard, he said that his Government, under the Second Republic, would leave no stone unturned in its quest to transform Zimbabwe into a knowledge driven and industrialising Upper Middle Income Economy by year 2030.
In terms of the envisaged goal states, President Mnangagwa said “as a new administration we were categorical from the onset that focus would be on putting in place policies and measures to regain investor confidence lost over the last two decades.”
“This, as I already alluded to, would be buttressed by upholding Democratic Principles, Rule of Law and Property Rights and this was after the international community responded positively to his rise to power, thereby opening prospects for new co-operation.
“It is, therefore, critical that as a country, we position ourselves to maximise on the goodwill of our people and the rest of the world. This calls for us to break from the past and move along a commonly shared Vision to take forward the destiny of our nation,” he said.
It was against this background that President Mnangagwa said his Government, therefore, developed Zimbabwe’s Vision 2030, which would see various policies and programmes rolled out over the next decade for the country to achieve middle income status by 2030.
He said the objectives of Vision 2030 aligned with those of Agenda 2063, which is the African Union’s 50-year Vision, running from 2013 to 2063. It also takes into cognisance the United Nations’ Sustainable Development.
Goals covering the period 2016-2030.
“The realisation of Vision 2030 will depend on the actions and measures that we undertake through Short and Medium-Term National Development Plans as Government, private sector, cooperating partners, civil society and as individuals,” he said.
Launched in 2018, he said Vision 2030 would guide our Transitional Stabilisation Programme (2018-2020), and successive five-year medium-term development strategies (2021-2025) and (2026-2030), giving birth to NDS1 (2021-2025).
NDS1, which is a successor programme to the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP), and was developed to lay a solid foundation for an upper middle-income economy by 2030, which is premised on a prosperous society.
The policy builds and consolidates on TSP successes. With macroeconomic stability setting in, the NDS1 emphasises on employment creation, with 750 000 jobs expected in the next five years. It underscores the importance of promoting strong value chains.
Treasury said TSP was a huge success as it ticked all the boxes of targeted policy reforms, among them restoration of fiscal and monetary policies, elimination of the budget and current account deficits, containing inflation and entrenching exchange rate stability.
The NDS1, which targets an average growth rate of at least 5 percent over its five-year term, is supported by a solid implementation, monitoring and evaluation team in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC).
Key targets of the new economic framework include steering the domestic economy to a sustainable growth path, fiscal deficit equal or lower than 3 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), reducing inflation to between 3 to 7 percent by 2025 and foreign currency reserves equal to six months import cover by 2025.
It targets a competitive foreign exchange market, current account balance of minus 3 percent of GDP, public and publicly guaranteed debt below 70 percent of GDP and money supply growth that is aligned to low inflation and stable exchange rate, including the elimination of quasi-fiscal operations.
Tied to the targets are measures to improve production and productivity, particularly in agriculture, through measures such as climate-proofed agriculture, supporting productive farmers timely, investing in irrigation and developing dams and capacity to evacuate the water.