Zimbabwe has great potential to achieve a $100 billion economy if politicians remain focused on the objective and stopped politicking, Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai has said.
Tsvangirai was addressing delegates at the Zimbabwe ICT Achievers Award ceremony over the weekend where he said ICTs were one of the necessities for development and politicians should not be skeptical if they want to achieve.
“Only if we move from political to economic focus, this country will be the fastest growing economy not only in Africa but in the world. If we can combine the capital nothing can stop us from achieving a $100 billion economy,” he said.
Kenias Mafukidze, group CEO of KM Financial Solutions organisers of the CEO Roundtable earlier this year, said it was time Zimbabweans boldly put differences aside, “pick up our brushes and start painting the picture of the type of Zimbabwe that we want our grandchildren to grow into.”
The Business Council of Zimbabwe (BCZ) a fortnight ago came up with committees to coordinate the function of critical sectors in a move aimed at achieving the $100 billion economy by 2030.
Some of the committees include that of Energy led by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI); Transport, Infrastructure committee chaired by Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC); and the Business Confidence and Governance committee led by the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ).
Tsvangirai said the ICT ministry headed by Nelson Chamisa had been one of the shining stars of the inclusive government, described by observers as shaky.
“Despite the Ministry of ICT existing for only three years, it has been one of the shining stars of this Government. The Ministry has made significant progress in bringing services to the people and contributing to the economy in general,” he said.
ICT penetration rates have increased from a mere 13% in 2008 for mobile phones to the current 63%.
Penetration rates for internet and fixed telephony stand at 15% and 3% respectively.
Tsvangirai said this had resulted in improved access and usage of telecommunication services in Zimbabwe including in rural and farming communities where mobile phones were now common.
“The upward movement in mobile penetration and ICT development is an indicator that our economy has inherent growth features that can translate this economy from the myriad of problems we are facing to one of the fastest growing economies in the world,” said Tsvangirai.
The PM pledged to ensure the ICT Bill was finalised quickly so that the country is not held back from development guaranteed by moving together with the global family.
“For us to take advantage of this positive development, government must develop policies, legal frameworks and strategies that stimulate and promote the use of ICTs, policies that attract investment, and policies that are in sync with international best practices,” he said.
“The e-government framework has since been developed. The aim behind the development of e-government is to provide government services electronically so that there is proliferation of e-services so that citizens begin to get services on-line and thereby reduce the time citizens are spending in queues waiting to be served.”
Meanwhile, our sister paper Zimbabwe Independent Chief Business Reporter Paul Nyakazeya, scooped the Top ICT Journalist of the year award for 2011.