HomeNewsGovt fine-tunes empowerment policy

Govt fine-tunes empowerment policy

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THE government has engaged a team of experts to fine-tune the indigenisation policy to make it broad-based amid concerns it was not benefiting the majority of the population.

The move comes at a time analysts and other stakeholders have rapped the policy as being elitist and benefiting a few connected individuals.

A team of consultants headed by economist Jesimen Chipika produced the draft framework that was presented at an indigenisation workshop last week.

According to a draft Zimbabwe Broad Based Economic Empowerment Policy (ZBBEEP), the framework would review the system in place to be inclusive and targeting vulnerable groups.

“The Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment (MYDIE), including the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board (NIEEB), are reviewing the national economic empowerment policy framework to guide Zimbabwe over the next 30 years, 2013-2042,” reads the document in part.

“However, it is important to note that the current implementation process has encountered several challenges.  In order to propel this important national agenda, the MYDIE has embarked on a process of reviewing the national economic empowerment policy framework to make it broad-based, more inclusive and better targeted at the marginalised and vulnerable groups.

“This will allow the utilisation of a wider range of strategies for economic empowerment, thus improving on the effectiveness of the programme.

“The Zimbabwe Broad Based Economic Empowerment Policy (ZBBEEP) process is recasting the economic empowerment agenda for a longer period (30 years) than initially envisaged in the current policy.”
ZBBEEP, according to the draft policy document, seeks to transform the economy from primary commodity production by 2017 to value addition in the period 2018 to 2027 and transforming it into an innovation and knowledge economy by 2042.

In the short term, that is 2013-2017, ZBBEEP would broaden and expand the economic pie.

From 2018 to 2027, the plan aims to attain substance and consolidation.

By 2042, the policy would have resulted in a highly dynamic and productive economy.

The policy would be financed by resources from the National Indigenisation and Economic Fund (NIEEF), sovereign wealth funds and sector specific funds and those targeting special interest groups.
The framework is anchored on imperatives such as expanding the economic pie, macro-economic stability and should be broad based.  It is also premised on inclusivity, efficient infrastructure and zero tolerance to corruption.

The plan aims to increase domestic investment to $15 billion by 2042 from around $7 million in 2013.

It also aims to sustain Foreign Direct Investment levels of above $1,5 billion in 2027 from $105 million in 2013 to support mainly the recovery and expansion of key economic enabler sectors such as energy, water, transport and information and communication technologies in line with the envisaged economic expansion as well as sustaining key export sectors.

According to the Indigenisation Act, the shares should be transferred to NIEEF, community trusts, employee trusts and a consortium of indigenous investors.

The main objective of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act is “to endeavour to secure that at least 51% of the shares of every public company and any other business shall be owned by indigenous Zimbabweans.” According to the regulations gazetted in 2010, all businesses with a net asset value equal to, or above $500 000 located in Zimbabwe should formulate plans that will lead to 51% of the shares in the firm being sold to “indigenous” Zimbabwean shareholders within five years from the date of operation of the regulations.

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