Zimbabwe; key factors to prosperity - part 4
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In this last of four articles, I want to deal with the necessity of Zimbabwe to respect and preserve human capital so that all Zimbabweans can live up to their full potential.
Also read, Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3
In any country where the respect human rights are questionable, it is inevitable that human capital will not live up to its full potential. You can only begin to appreciate the Zimbabwe's loss if you look at the talent that Zimbabweans have and the fact that five million brains have left the country. Zimbabweans worldwide can be found are in every field ,from medicine, engineering, science, architecture, the arts, to finance, entertainment and then some. Zimbabwe has lost out on its education dividend after spending so much on education and skills development during the early years of independence.
Zimbabwe can indeed be the intellectual capital of Africa if we begin to harness our talents and deploy them to the development of the country. This can only happen when create an enabling environment for Zimbabweans in general to live up to their full potential. This means that our politics must change and the philosophy that economic development must favor a particular class or can only be driven by particular individuals must not be allowed to continue.
China is ahead not because of luck but because it appreciates that the only asset the country has is its human capital and has deliberately put into place support structures that affirm this value system.
We must therefore continue to put emphasis on education and rebuild the capacity of the country to provide health services as it once did. We need to prioritize on those things that improve the quality of life of Zimbabweans so that all may have a long and productive life; these being a clean environment, access to basic services, housing and improved living conditions especially for the middle class that has been wiped out in the last ten years.
We must make the conditions of life attractive for Zimbabweans to come back home and this means a free and robust media sector, accelerated technological advancement , freedom of association and speech, a stable currency, political freedom and the non interference by the government in the lives of private citizens. In other words Zimbabweans must experience a better quality of life and liberty than they are currently experiencing wherever they are if they are to choose to come back home.
It is also important, I think, that Zimbabweans stop putting government officials on a pedestal. I have never seen a country where politics is everywhere, be it sport, media, entertainment, business and so on. I have attended many business presentations in Zimbabwe and it is always â€œthe government should do this for us; the government should do that for us.â€ This mentality needs to stop because it is disempowering and creates false expectations. At times living in Zimbabwe actually feels like one is living in Stalin's Soviet Union where the central committee decides on everything even on what the weather report on should say. This is regrettable
In my opinion, the only asset that Zimbabwe has, no matter the politics, is its people. It is however important that the people begin to take full responsibility for creating the future they desire and not live in perpetual fear.
My message to our leadership in government, the army and police is: People who live in fear can never truly give it their all nor can they live up to their full potential and those that instill that fear can never be truly free themselves.
Vince Musewe is an independent economist currently in Harare and you may contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org
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Source: Vince Musewe
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