Source: Let industrialisation take the lead | The Herald July 20, 2018
Munyaradzi Mlambo Correspondent
What must the next Government of Zimbabwe do?
First, on the economic front, Zimbabwe was confronted by mass company closures at the end of the last century and the beginning of the new century.
Zimbabwe should aim to be an economically developed country, faring side by side with other progressive states.
The next Government should be fixated on working to the last ounce so that the economy undergoes a radical qualitative change.
Prioritisation, therefore, should be on the simultaneous development of heavy and light industries.
It is industrialisation in general that could at least satisfy all local primary requirements. With the collective working spirit instilled in people of different strata, Zimbabwe will see a new change as we enter the 2020s onwards if industrialisation is given the attention it deserves.
Capital should not hinder the industrialisation goal. This calls for Zimbabweans not to wait for foreign direct investment alone, but rather orchestrate their own plans and strategies.
Foreign investors can only top up what has been originated by the locals.
By the next elections in five years, a newly industrialised nation is supposed to be in the offing with full programmes covering free education at all levels, a comprehensive national health service similar to highly industrialised countries and above all, free provisions to all senior citizens of the country.
Targeting industries that used to drive the economy in the past should be the launchpad.
Those industries that had stopped working some years ago should once more be given a new lease of life. For example, Ziscosteel, the backbone of the engineering industry, both light and heavy.
By assimilating the experiences of progressive states like China, a highly vibrant metallurgical industry could certainly develop around Ziscosteel to ensure the supply of steel to both light and heavy enterprises.
These developments will not only boost employment levels, but will save foreign currency. The goal towards self-sufficiency in all essentials should be made a prime one. Production is what the country needs. A sharper focus on production could mean a rapid economic turn for the nation as a whole.
It is important for the country to maintain high tempo of industrial development right into the 2030s and beyond. At the moment, Zimbabwe is not producing many goods and services. Industrialisation means production. It is only through this formula that Zimbabwe can reduce on imports, while increasing exports for the much-needed forex.
The mechanisation of agriculture, rural and commercial lands should be carried out gradually and perseveringly in our country in keeping with the development of industry and economic consolidation.
Agriculture plays a critical role in supplying industry with raw materials. A self-supporting agriculture and industry equipped with modern technology is what the country needs at best.
Chemical industries concentrating on the production of chemical fertilisers should be a priority and can help to stimulate the development of agriculture. Small business also have a role to play.
In recent years, handicrafts and small individual trades have been progressing in leaps and bounds.
Like in science and technological advancement, these handicrafts and small trades should at least be transformed through the cooperative economy. The enhancement of people’s welfare should be done at the earliest opportunity.
Zimbabwe must oppose dependence on and submission to other countries. A return to a comparatively normal life should be at the forefront of our development plan.
Impediments to economic progress must be gotten rid of immediately.
For the last few years, Zimbabwe has been haunted by corruption and corrupt officials blinded by a desire for fame and rank.
President Mnangagwa’s administration has already openly and avowedly brought sanity into reality once more.
To be stamped out at the slightest manifestation are these negative practices of all shades such as embezzlement, pilfering, squandering and selfishness. Curbing and stamping out corruption lying on the way of progress will allow smooth economic progress.
Let us all catapult to stardom and distance ourselves from those few elements who are hindering national progress.
Munyaradzi Mlambo is a journalist and accounting science student at Women’s University in Africa. Feedback firstname.lastname@example.org