Deputy News Editor
The translation of the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) into local languages is expected to remove barriers of participation by communities previously left out because of language barrier.
Further, the translation of the NDS1 into 14 local languages, braille, sign language, audio book and e-book, is in line with the devolution and decentralisation agenda where provinces are expected to develop their provincial economic development plans aligned to the NDS1, based on their respective resource endowments and competitive advantages.
This was said by Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube during the launch of the translated versions of the NDS1 in Harare yesterday, although some journalists and Deputy Minister of Finance Clemence Chiduwa, followed proceedings virtually.
“It is my honour and privilege to officiate at this very important occasion of the launch of the National Development Strategy 1 Translated Versions. This momentous occasion signifies our collective aspirations, determination and tenacity as a people to achieve the national vision to become ‘an empowered and prosperous upper middle-income society by 2030’,” said Prof Ncube.
“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.
“Through the translated versions of NDS1, we therefore, envision the attainment of inclusive development, an improved quality of life for our people and shared prosperity. It is our desire to live by the ethos that no one and no place should be left behind.”
Government says the economy must emerge from the NDS1 strategy period more competitive and more resilient, with diverse and vibrant trade relations and investments.
Critically, Government wants the country to deepen its local production base, both for local and export markets from all parts of Zimbabwe.
Prof Ncube said development is supposed to be “for the people, and the people are also the drivers of development”.
“It therefore behoves us to ensure that policy is cascaded to all levels of society, in the language that they understand. This is critical. This launch of the NDS1 translated versions in languages namely Shona, Ndebele, Tonga, Ndau, Chewa, Chibarwe, Kalanga, Nambya, Venda, Shangani, Sotho, Tswana, Xhosa and Koisan, allows the nation to build on the achievements and lessons learnt during the implementation of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP).
“Our success going forward must continue to be anchored on our united and unitary character, as a nation. In the spirit of leaving no-one and no-place behind, the translated versions will ensure greater interaction between policy and stakeholders, during the NDS1 implementation period.
“This connectivity of policy with the ordinary people, does not only mean that policy will be better understood by all, but also that we as policy makers begin a process where we are comfortable getting feedback from the people directly, in local languages,” said Prof Ncube.
Translations into Braille and an audio book for the visually impaired, an e-book for those with auditory challenges is expected to usher greater participation in economic matters by all sections of society, a development described as “priceless” by Prof Ncube.
The translated versions will help provinces and districts in implementing the 14 interconnected National Development Priorities of the NDS1 which are to be implemented during the next five years, which are, economic growth and stability, food and nutrition security, infrastructure and utilities, governance, moving the economy up the value chain and structural transformation, housing delivery and health and wellbeing.
The other priorities are human capital development, environmental protection, climate resilience and natural resource management, image building, international engagement and reengagement, devolution, social protection, digital economy and youth, sport and culture
Prof Ncube said the translation exercise is therefore not just an academic achievement but a reflection of Government’s desire and commitment to ensure that the economic gospel enshrined in NDS1 “is preached by and is accessible to all”.
He added that the successful implementation of NDS1 is not for Government alone, but requires the commitment and dedication of all Zimbabweans including the private sector, civil society organisations (CSOs), development partners, churches and chiefs.
“In the next few months, my officials as well as myself, will be embarking on a dissemination exercise, where we will take the translated versions of the NDS1 to all corners of the country. A detailed language map has been developed which will guide the location of these dissemination exercises,” he said.
Permanent Secretary of Finance, Mr George Guvamatanga, said the NDS1 is a culmination of an extensive consultative process, involving stakeholders at all levels and all corners of the country, which was necessary to develop consensus and establish a sense of ownership of the development agenda by all Zimbabweans.