Tomorrow will be a big day for Zimbabwe as we get a new President. We wish the next president well in his new role as the leader of the beautiful country called Zimbabwe. We watched him yesterday mentioning economic recovery and the creation of jobs. He mentioned Jobs more than twice to emphasize the importance of the matter. We hope to hear about economic recovery and job creation again tomorrow in his official address to the world as Zimbabwe’s newest leader.
The Zimbabwe Business Ideas and Network, ZBIN has been at the forefront of promotion of small to medium scale businesses since 2015 and we have a solid forum with more than 32,000 members who are networked in respect of access to opportunities information, access to finance and markets and capacity building.
We hope to see an improved environment for small businesses and an acknowledgement of the sector is the creator of most jobs in the country. The previous administration did well to help the sector with a number of policies and availing funds to the sector but there is little on the ground to show improvement. We hope to see a radical shift in policies which will create an enabling environment for the small to medium scale to thrive.
Funds But No Markets
The previous administration availed funds for the SME sector-more than 100 million dollars earmarked for Cross Borders, Women, Miners and Horticulture. They simply put money into banks and folded their hands! A number of launches to sensitize members of the public on the availability of funds and that was it. They expected members of the public to access the funds, use them as per business plans and help the economy.
This was an outdated approach as it did not cover capacity building in helping people to come up with solid business plans, helping them to have access to markets and managing their businesses. Providing funds without awareness on access to markets is not effective! Access to markets is a huge challenge that needs to be addressed in the small to medium scale business-if no follow up action is done to assist the sector with access to markets then expect no meaningful progress to happen. We can draw you to the success of the Command Agriculture-there was a ready market of maize in the form of the Grain Marketing Board. It may not be the same when it comes to funds such as the Cross Border Homelink Facility.
We therefore hope to see more funds being availed to the sector but we hope to witness an improvement with funds being availed as a comprehensive package that includes access to markets, export promotion and capacity building. This will ensure sustainability of the sector which dominates the economy in the country.
Diaspora Meeting Follow Up
The forum followed the Diaspora Investment meeting that you attended in South Africa a few months ago together with 3 other ministers. We hope to see follow ups in engaging the diaspora so that they can meaningfully participate in the economy. Some have the resources and are willing to meaningfully participate in the economy-we hope to see a follow up of the discussions held in Sandton, South Africa.
We reached out to our members and below we feature their input which is unedited.
51 percent. No one in their sound mind would like that.Too many police road blocks need to be reduced.
China should not bring manual labourers we have plenty of that. Government to invest online services to pay services so that there is no one to pay the bribe. Ensuring that ALL people benefit not only from one party or region
No foreign investor should ever own more than 49% of land in Zim and should always need to have a local person involved in all the dealings…and also the issue of bringing own labour should be minimised…Just try to put the locals first. Try to copy places like Dubai on how they run things.
They should start by making sure all banks are functioning well….not what they are doing….who wants to invest in such an economy where there is no circulation of currency.let it be the starting point.
And before we respect investors lets respect each other 1st lets love to see each other succeed..we as Zimbabweans have a tendency of wanting to respect the foreign investor yet we make things hard for our fellow local brothers…mostly we tend to ask for a brother to bribe yet some foreign investor comes you just process everything willingly and without bribe….lets put each other’s success first.
We need to do away with the indeginisation law in its current format.I think the local ownership threashold should be scrapped except for in agriculture so as not to reverse the gains of land reform.However in capital intensive sectors like industry investors should indeginise through a fair taxation regime. For mining, CSOS must continue but with greater monitoring on the implementation and tangible community benefits.
Capital will only go where it will get a decent return and there is rule of law and protection of property rights.So if ED is serious he must attend to these obvious shortcomings that exist in Zim and we will see investors return to Zim
All Zimbabwe wants now is to restore investor cornfidence.companies will open and create jobs.1)we have in place an indigenous policy that takes 51% ownership from foreign investors.abolish that.(2)Agriculture.create an environment whereby we accomodate varidzi vefarming.that can be achieved by swallowing our pride and admit failure on our part.learn to coexist with them and maybe learn how its done.that can only be achieved by not necessarily reverse the land reform but by working together as a pple.u also cant achieve that if Sable chemicals is not functioning at 100%.(3)Mining.backbone of the economy alongside farming.transparency is all thats needed in that line of the economy.relax the crazy policies in place and Anglo America and Rio Tinto as well as all other mining giants will surely come back.(4)Finance.cash should be easily accessible any given tym.(5)Welfare.government must play its part on the welfare of its people.hospitals should function full throttle.medicine should be found in hospitals in abundance.(5)National healing.we all know the hatred sown on Zimbabwean populace against each other,tribe.political rivalry and a polluted political environment.we can go on and on but the bottom line is the government leadership in place just has to do just about the opposite of Bob’s way of doing things.the opposite of his policies.engage the int community.but that can only be achieved by admitting failure.
Let’s revisit what Mdala asked. Job creation. Job creation .job creation. How is the new broom going to create that. My thinking is ED is going to revisit all investment policies that hinder investor confidence. Also how much has the local investor done on the job creation .its only Masiyiwa who has done well with his Econet.liquid telecoms. Steward bank and recently Kwese TV.
This is a good news especially to us business people. If people are employed it means an increase in the the demand for goods and services. However I also have a feeling that politicians know what people want but they are trapped into populist behavior. Today he is talking about creation of jobs last time Maziwisa was saying we created more than the 2.2m targeted jobs. So we must be able to survive under either situation. If jobs are created let’s take the opportunity to grow our businesses. If there are no jobs let’s look into ways of survival under such situations.
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