Latest News Editor's Choice


Opinion / Columnist

Entrepreneurship is key for economic Development in Zimbabwe

22 Mar 2019 at 21:56hrs | Views
We are all collectively linked to the survival misfortunes of this country. I must say, in one way or another we are all affected. We need to address economic challenges and solutions of this country. Do we need betting? NO. Simple equation, lets identify the real problems and provide solutions. There is a new economy which is emerging in Zimbabwe (Entrepreneurship). We are all collectively linked to the survival misfortunes of this country, and this is an area which the Government of Zimbabwe must take seriously to enhance development and turn around Zimbabwe within a short space of time.

Entrepreneurship is the art of creating or developing a business through innovation, creativity, progressive imagination and risk taking initiative. It can as well be described as the art of identifying viable business opportunities and mobilizing resources to convert those opportunities into a successful enterprises through creativity, innovation, risk taking and progressive imagination. This country has so many opportunities, we are the second largest producer of platinum in Africa, we command a lot of respect in the global villages because of the vast of minerals we have in this country. We have gold, nickel, chrome, alluvial diamonds, copper and my question then rest on the administration of this country, on a serious note, what is the problem, Mr. President and your team, what is difficult to turn around this country? I beg to differ with the current minister of finance, whose  focus is much on text books, Zimbabwe's economy has so many multi-dimensional issues, it is socio-politically related when it comes to dealing with the economy.

Zimbabweans are hardworking people, they are known for that, so what is the problem? Who is an entrepreneur? It's an individual motivated by strong desire to achieve positive and sustainable results through hard working, risk taking abilities, determination and generation of progressive ideas. We have so many Zimbabweans who are not being given a chance to demonstrate their abilities to deliver in Zimbabwe. We are the second in command in terms of high literacy in Africa, but look at the fuel  queues, look at the prices sky rocketing, we have so many economists in this country, but there is a deep dispute over state capture and controlling larger stake of the economy. I'm run short of saying this country is under capture. We are under captivity. I will tell you something which will surprise you, why introducing the 2% tax threshold, I would suggest, target the small traders, small and medium enterprises, play your mathematics, that is where our economy is evolved.

Instead of being bookish, focus should be on empowering citizens with what is available. 96% of the population belongs to the informal sector, and these are entrepreneurs, what they need is empowerment, proper tax measures, creation of markets, liberalizing markets, and they belong to the market and allow the participatory behavior, where they must be allowed to participate in the economic affairs of the country. There is a wide gap (research), between the poor and the rich. Leadership must feel embarrassed when leading people with such a gap. It's a cause of concern and something must be done. I would suggest whatever economic sector we have, create for informal traders, small and medium enterprises and other key players with small businesses. We have so many people with the potential of supplying fuel in Zimbabwe, if you relax some conditions, and they can actually help the economy to grow by promotion of free range economy. Where on earth have you seen one person controlling the energy sector of the country? Where on earth have you seen one person controlling command agriculture in Zimbabwe?

Where on earth have you seen a single person controlling a large stake of the economy ranging from energy to every sector of the economy? You tell me out of 13 million Zimbabwe we don't have people who can participate in the Chirundu- Beitbridge road construction? What about fuel? This will deprive a lot of people particularly the informal traders and entrepreneurs of this country. My suggestion is President Mnangagwa must accommodate academics, and sound economic players and policy makers in Zimbabwe to run the economic show and come up with an inclusive approach of how we can turn around Zimbabwe economy. You can actually allocate 20% of the project to youth empowerment, 20% of the project to women empowerment, by sub-contracting to those who have the ideas of how to run such specific projects. We can't have less than 55 people controlling our country's wealth and what is going to happen to our children in future? What are we going to give them?

What do we need to empower entrepreneurs?

Allow them to participate in the economy and give them economic space for ideas and opening markets. The problem with this country we have selfish and greedy people controlling a larger chunk of our economy, and they ensure that they eat the national cake alone, suppressing other people in business. For one to get a tender in Zimbabwe, you must be well connected. Look at the Dema project, where Government lost millions of dollars to purported saboteurs who pretended to save our energy sector. The project is down and looters have gone with the tax payer's money. That's typical of Zim economy. No explanation and life goes on like that. The tender was first awarded to other key players and suddenly it was cancelled and later on given to another group of people. As we speak, the project has collapsed and millions of dollars have gone to the drainage. We need credit lines, business opportunities, opening of markets and relaxing other tax burdens and this will empower this group of entrepreneurs.

Zimbabweans have great potential to turn around this economy without any need to bail us out. We don't need a foreign bail out, we strictly need policy consistency, easy way of doing business, we must walk the talk, shape our policies, and deal with the cancer of corruption in our country and promote the local content. Local talent is key. Identify local talent which can supply cars for ministers, MPs and senators and other senior Government officials, and that is how you improve local entrepreneurs. Give them allocations in the national budget. The unfortunate part, is looting is the order of the day, those who have winning tenders will continue looting, and the well political connected and the elite will continue benefiting.

Do Entrepreneurs contribute anything towards our economy?
Even though statistically, most small businesses are said to be outside the tax net, they still contribute in their small way to the national treasury through the payment of various rates, levies, licensing fees and even taxes. There are a number of small businesses in Zimbabwe that have penetrated the export or foreign markets. In doing so, these small businesses inevitably contribute to foreign exchange earnings for the country. Closely related to the issue of technology transfer is the issue of rural industrialization. Small businesses when compared to large businesses, have very low establishment or start-up costs. Existing small businesses act as agents of inculcating, stimulating and promoting a culture of entrepreneurship and self-reliance among citizens. This development is very positive and has long lasting impact in terms of fighting poverty, hunger etc. even though most small businesses employ very few workers because of the size of their venture, the aggregate effect on employment creation is very high.

Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo writes in his personal capacity as an academic and he is a leading consultant in Entrepreneurship Development and project Management, he is also studying Doctor of Philosophy at Women's University of Africa and he can be contacted at tinamuzala@gmail.com

Source - Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

Subscribe

Email: