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Mnangagwa says Zimbabweans must stop parroting foreign narratives

by Staff reporter
14 Aug 2022 at 07:21hrs | Views
ZIMBABWEANS should believe in themselves despite the continued imposition of sanctions on the country and be inspired by the national interest to work harder to develop their own country rather than "parroting foreign narratives," President Mnangagwa has said.

Amid the prevailing economic challenges mainly induced by unforeseen geo-political complications and the dampening impact of sanctions, the President said Zimbabwe remains a sovereign country and its citizens should not be lectured by foreigners on how to deal with their domestic challenges.

Addressing delegates while officially opening the inaugural Zimbabwe Economic Development Conference (ZEDCON) in the resort city of Victoria Falls on Friday, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabweans should not lose sight of the country's unique political and economic circumstances.

Delegates at the conference

"Let us not parrot foreign narratives, which are in fact perpetuated to stifle our capacity to economically develop as a sovereign State. Our discourse must be informed by our national interest and the fact that ‘Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo/Ilizwe lakhiwa ngabaninilo'," he said.

"Never lose sight of our own uniqueness as an economy. Our country has been haemorrhaging under heinous sanctions for over two decades. We must never bury our heads in the sand but instead think outside the box.

"Let us continue to diligently and honestly work hard in our various spheres not just for our families but for the good and prosperity of our great nation."

Zimbabwe has since the turn of the millennium, been saddled with the yoke of illegal sanctions imposed by the West and its allies at the instigation of Britain in protest over the country's successful land reform programme, which benefitted thousands of landless blacks. As a result of the embargo, the country has continued to suffer subdued foreign direct investment inflows, constrained access to lines of credit and international grants due to compromised country risk. Despite this setback, President Mnangagwa has said that Zimbabwe under the Second Republic will not continue to cry over sanctions but was taking the bull by its horns to champion its own transformative agenda using its available resources, and with support of friendly countries.

Making reference to the ultimate brave sacrifice made by the gallant sons and daughters of Zimbabwe who fought in the liberation struggle and whose legacy is being commemorated this month, he said Zimbabweans must continue to be "inspired to fight for the economic development, modernisation and industrialisation" of their motherland.

Guided by the short-term Transitional Stabilisation Programme, and now the National Development Strategy (NDS1), the country has set its sight towards an upper middle-income economy vision by 2030 with notable milestones since the coming in of the New Dispensation in 2018.

"As we implement the National Development Strategy let us remain cognisant of the fact that bold and transformative measures are required to underpin the attainment of our Vision 2030. This must see us deliberately leveraging Zimbabwe's competitive and comparative advantages, particularly with regards to the configuration of our natural resource and excellent ecological endowment as well as human capital skills base.

In an environment where our country still suffers from the albatross of the illegal economic sanctions, the evidence-based approach of policy making will undoubtedly ensure our economy produces more value."

The President also stressed the need to embrace innovation while fostering an enabling doing business environment, hence the key focus of the conference was to inculcate evidence-based research approaches to guide critical economic policy formulation and future budgetary processes.

"Under the Second Republic, policy decisions shall be based on sound evidence through the use of broader factual and empirical inputs for ongoing policy development and programme improvement," said President Mnangagwa.

In line with the theme of the conference: "Accelerating Economic Transformation Through Evidence-Based Policy Making, he challenged the academia to conduct more rigorous research that will amplify policy and programme implementation.

On its part, the President said his government will continue instituting measures that enhance macro-economic stability, boost confidence in the economy, preserve value for depositors and investors while dealing with market indiscipline. Earlier, President Mnangagwa chided speculative market behaviour that frustrates economic progress saying the Government has put in place sound economic policies and fundamentals that instil confidence and support domestic currency and generation of foreign currency, all anchored on tight monetary policy and favourable fiscal position.

The conference was hosted by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and its recommendations are expected to feed into the forthcoming 2023 national budget. The ZEDCON began on Wednesday and ended on Friday with local and international delegates drawn from a diversity of stakeholders including academia, economic research institutions, policy makers, development partner agencies, industry and commerce, among others.

It came at a time when the global economy is being adversely impacted by the disruptive headwinds emanating from the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, which has pass through effects on the local economy.

During deliberations, key speakers who included Finance Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube, World Bank country director, Ms Marjorie Mpundu and banker Mr Nigel Chanakira, African Diaspora Development Institute (ADDI) founder, Dr Arikana Chihombori-Quao, Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and Victoria Falls Stock Exchange chief executive officer, Mr Justin Bgoni and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, Dr John Mangudya, shared their insights.

The gathering tackled several topics such as the role of capital markets in the development of the country, retaining human capital retention for national development and fiscal incentives and economic sustainability of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Zimbabwe.

Source - The Sunday News