By Chris Mahove
ZIMBABWE’S efforts to achieve middle income status under its Vision 2030 are being stifled by an uncoordinated private sector, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries- CZI has said.
Speaking at an agri-business breakfast meeting organized by the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce at the ongoing Harare Agricultural Show Tuesday, CZI President, Sifelani Jabangwe said vision 2030 required that the country recorded an annual economic growth of 9 percent, which he said was a tall order which required the buy in of the private sector.
“Vision 2030 required growth of 9 percent per annum and for us to build strong value chains; we need a coordinated private sector. The vision 2030 must be structured into a policy and it is not for government to bring together the private sector,” he said.
Jabangwe said there was need for business associations to share information with their members as they would help them formulate workable strategies to compete with the rest of the region and the world at large.
“Private sector players don’t like to read but then how do we manage when don’t want to read/ For instance, members are not being provided with information on rules of origin which will determine whether you will be able to export or not.
He said there was quite a lot that business was not doing in order to create a viable value chain.
His sentiments were echoed by economist Daniel Ndlela of ZimConsult, who said Zimbabwe had not created any value chains, adding in Africa, only Egypt, Rwanda and Mauritius had taken the initiative.
“Government must provide macro-economic support to ensure consistency and liberalise private non-core activities. We need to have clusters because single producers cannot supply consistently over time,” he said.
Confederation of Retailers of Zimbabwe President, Denford Mutashu said there was need for linkages between agro-firms, industry and retailers to reduce imports and depend on homegrown products.
He expressed concern that local private players did not have the right attitude towards reviving the country’s economy and were not forthcoming in complementing government efforts.
He said the response by the minister of Industry, Mike Bimha, for the private sector to join the government for the AU summit in Rwanda, where the Continental Free Trade Area was being discussed was disheartening.
“Unfortunately, it was an embarrassment that Zimbabwe had only five business representatives. Do we have the right attitude? We are not actively engaged as far as these initiatives are concerned,” he said.