By Robert Tapfumaneyi
FOR Zimbabwe to attain an upper-middle-income status by 2030, the private sector, and not government, should lead the investment and employment drive, the Ministry of Labour has said.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has, since his controversial win in the 2018 presidential election, been pushing a grandiose plan for impoverished Zimbabwe to achieve an upper-middle-income status by 2030.
He has termed his ambitious project; Upper-middle-income-status Agenda 2030 and has made repeated appeals to the international community for funds and investment to help the debt-ridden country emerge from extreme poverty, hunger and hyperinflation.
The international community has not been forthcoming and has instead told his regime to first implement the country’s political and economic reforms before they can bail out Zimbabwe.
However, technocrats in the Labour Ministry feel that to achieve an objective such as the Agenda 2030, the government should put in place policies that attract investment and create employment in a country with 95% of its population unemployed.
They said government’s dominance in the labour market was not healthy for Zimbabwe.
“The dominance of the government as a key player in the labour market is not healthy for a country positioned to achieve an upper-middle-income status by 2030,” the Ministry of Labour officials said in their Labour Market Perspectives 2019.
“Government should put in place policies that will attract investment in the labour intensive sectors of the economy such as the manufacturing sector so that more jobs are generated.”
The officials admitted government’s dominance on the employment market had put pressure on the national budget and expenditure.
“The dominance of government as a driver of employment has put pressure on the government budget and expenditure, not helped by the public sector wage bill that has been stubbornly high over the decades,” the report said.
“There is need to constantly monitor the long running trends between economic growth and employment growth to avoid the country being trapped in a jobless growth and worsening levels of poverty.
“This will call for robust labour market information system that will be providing labour market data on a quarterly basis.”