Zim needs new key economic reforms

AS ZIMBABWE hurtles towards a post-Robert Mugabe era, the country should urgently implement key economic reforms to regain its once-prized position as a thriving economy within sub-Sahara Africa.

Latest events have shown that the sun is slowly setting on the increasingly frail Mugabe, 92, hence the need for new strategies to take the country forward after its economy was heavily decimated by the nonagenarian’s populist policies and general mismanagement.

For a long time now, Zanu PF politicians have been singing the same song with Mugabe that we do not need investors and this is one of the reasons why we find ourselves in the current economic conditions.
However, the writing is now on the wall and it is becoming clear with each passing day that we need foreign investors more than they need us after the much-touted Chinese mega deals failed to take off.

It does not matter how resources-rich Zimbabwe is, facts will point out that we are still not the richest country in Africa let alone in the Southern African Development Community.

Recent statistics from an international research think-tank that publishes world wealth rankings and records, reveal that Zimbabwe stands at position 50, tied with a government like Somalia with a paltry gross domestic product (GDP) of 600 per capita.

Our regional counterparts are at various positions within the top 20, for example the highest placed is Botswana at position three on the continent with a GDP of 16 000 per capita.

The difference in GDP per capita with our neighbours in the region is clear testimony that Zimbabwe’s economy is not the best, and in fact one of the worst in the world.

This has profile implications for investors who look at Zimbabwe as a potential investment destination.
To change our fortunes on the foreign direct investment front, we will need to deeply reflect and research on what investors look for in countries where they put their money.

As long as we have the mindset of Mugabe and his Zanu PF acolytes that indigenisation must be forced on all investors, Zimbabwe will remain doomed.

It must be noted that for Zimbabwe to grow its economy, the country must emulate sound economic policies, practices, values and behaviours of successful foreign direct investment destinations such as China, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, India, South Africa and Mozambique.

Zimbabwe must focus on achieving congruency between investor concerns and what the country wants.
As a country, there is need to respect and delight investors so as to deliver an attractive, competitive and sustainable investment destination.

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