FINANCE and Economic Development minister Mthuli Ncube yesterday officially launched translated versions of the country’s key economic blueprint, the National Development Strategy 1, as part of a broader devolution strategy under President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.
Ncube said the thrust is to make the policy cascade to the population in a language they can understand, adding that the use of local languages will go a long way towards removing barriers of participation by those who previously stood on the side lines due to lack of information and language barriers.
These NDS1 translated versions are in various local languages namely Shona, Ndebele, Tonga, Ndau, Chewa, Chibarwe, Kalanga, Nambya, Venda, Shangani, Sotho, Tswana, Xhosa and Koisan.
Mthuli said it allows the nation to build on the achievements and lessons learnt during the implementation of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP).
“Development is supposed to be for the people, and the people are also the drivers of development. It therefore behooves us to ensure that policy is cascaded to all levels of society, in the language that they understand. This is critical,” Ncube said in his keynote address during the virtual launch event.
In the spirit of leaving no-one and no-place behind, Ncube said, the translated versions will ensure greater interaction between policy and stakeholders, during the NDS1 implementation period.
This connectivity of policy with the ordinary people, he said, does not only mean that policy will be better understood by all, but also that policy makers begin a process where they are comfortable getting feedback from the people directly, in local languages.
The strategy also falls under government’s ambition to see Zimbabwe become an empowered and prosperous upper middle-income society by 2030.
Ncube said the attainment of Vision 2030 is partly premised on the devolution and decentralisation agenda, which empowers provinces, districts and communities to implement development strategies which are informed by their respective resource endowments and competitive advantages.
“This must-see greater innovation, modernisation, industrialisation and increased investment across all provinces and districts of our country” Ncube said.
He said through the translated versions of NDS1, government envisioned the attainment of inclusive development, an improved quality of life for the people and shared prosperity.
“It is our desire to live by the ethos that no one and no place should be left behind,” Ncube said.
“It is the view of the government that the economy must emerge from the NDS1 strategy period more competitive and more resilient, with very diverse and vibrant trade relations and investments.
“Equally so, we must deepen our capacity to produce domestically, for local and export markets from all parts of the country.”
In addition, the translations into braille and an audiobook for the visually impaired, an e book for those with auditory challenges will see greater participation in economic matters by all sections of society.
These translated versions will help the provinces and districts in implementing the interconnected National Development Priorities of the NDS1, which are to be implemented during the next five years.