Provincial GDPs plan a master stroke


SOUND economies are anchored on solid structures.
They are supported by vibrant institutions. Their heartbeat is strong institutional framework.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has raised a fundamental point in Zimbabwe’s quest for economic revival and development.
He has said each province must come up with its economic plan that must manifest in individual GDP. Put simply, economic planning will no longer be centralised. There are many lessons to be drawn from this plan. There are possibilities to be explored from this proposal as well.
First is that, each province has immense potential to contribute significantly to the economy. There are the natural resources. There is the land.
There too is the human capital resource base and willpower. The issue of ownership comes into play. Then there is an opening for attracting investment.
We need comprehensive strategies to support that plan.
We need captivating ideas that speak to and respond to the needs of the respective provinces. Above all, there is need for competent hands to man those provinces.
The role of the Minister of Provincial Affairs must be not only clearly defined but clearly articulated and goal-driven. They must be seized with the needs of their provinces. They must be grounded in the aspirations of the people in their provinces.
They must be in a position to be in contact with investors.
They must create platforms for engagement. They must come up with handbooks of the investment opportunities in their provinces.
They must be surrounded by people who can support the vision of the country’s leadership. The ministers of provincial affairs must be able to connect with the masses and traditional leaders.
Products must be attractive to the global market; products that create employment for the locals through value addition and beneficiation; products that create industries in the provinces. We should come up with systems that feed into and support the industrial and production value chain.
Value addition and beneficiation must not be an option. We do not need to export jobs. We need to create them. We need to industrialise.
We need to have highly competitive goods and services on the global market. But this plan must be supported by a monitoring and evaluation committee.
Second is the fact that this plan is not unique. It has been adopted elsewhere and has done economic wonders.
China is a prime example of this noble initiative.
We could partner with the Chinese and draw lessons on how they successfully executed this plan. The Chinese call their system ‘planned economy’.
It is founded on targets and quotas for every sector and province. Farmers produce according to state plans and objectives, so too do factories.
Rural farmers from almost every province in Zimbabwe have been well capacitated to produce for factories.
This is where the supervisory role of the provincial ministers comes into play. They must be on the ground, monitoring how development is shaping up in their provinces.
We are on the right path and must avoid mistakes of the past where noble plans gathered dust in offices.


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