The Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset) October 2013-December 2018 was crafted to achieve sustainable development and social equity anchored on indigenisation, empowerment and employment creation.
PURCHASING & SUPPLY: NYASHA CHIZU
This results-based agenda was built around four strategic clusters of food security and nutrition, social services and poverty eradication, infrastructure and utilities, and value addition and beneficiation.
The government identified quick-wins — projects that would be implemented immediately to yield rapid results in the shortest possible time frames in view of the deadline of December 2018.
ZimAsset recognised that accelerated funding of public projects shall be achieved through the hastening of public-private partnerships (PPPs), where the Office of the President and Cabinet was mandated to monitor and evaluate the plan and its implementation.
Agriculture was identified as the backbone underpinning Zimbabwe’s economic growth through food security and poverty reduction.
The value chain in agriculture was underpinned on mechanisation and effective acquisition of inputs, and effective public procurement was the solution to the equation.
Housing delivery had an estimated backlog of 1,25 million units, which would need sizeable investment in water and sanitation to reduce the sporadic outbreaks of epidemics such as typhoid, dysentery and cholera.
Shortage of capital was viewed as the major hindrance in the development of utilities and infrastructure.
Roads, aviation and railway networks across the country have not seen major improvements and modernisation, due to lack of long term investment opportunities.
The energy sector was now inefficient due to largely dilapidated and obsolete equipment and infrastructure coupled with inadequate financing and other structural bottlenecks.
The transport sector continues to face challenges owing to resource constraints, obsolete equipment, corruption, mismanagement, vandalism and absence of a robust corporate governance policy as illustrated in the ZimAsset blueprint.
One of the major issues identified as the lead impediment in public service delivery was the lack of effective systems for revenue collection.
Citizens generally fail to comply on issues such as rates and licence payments due to inaccessibility and the difficulty that government systems are generally characterised with.
Failure to comply to statutory obligations by the general citizenry inevitably reduces government revenue collection.
One of the key success factors of ZimAsset was the availability of collaborative partnerships among government agencies, the private sector, citizens and other stakeholders to harness revenue collection.
ZimAsset called for an increased investment in infrastructure such as energy and power development, roads, rail, aviation, telecommunications, water and sanitation.
PPPs were identified as the means of accelerating the implementation of such projects including other private sector driven initiatives.
Government agencies were put in clusters that were co-ordinated by the Office of the President and Cabinet to achieve results-based management.
One of the funding strategies for ZimAsset was the engagement of PPPs and a number of them in the transport, local authorities, home affairs and agriculture ministries are in different stages of implementation.
The aim is at enhancing the ease of doing business initiative for government. The expected outcome in transport and infrastructural development and management from such PPPs is improved road, rail and air networks.
Road safety and security management seeks to achieve improved safety and security on road networks as well as improved coordination of road agencies and law enforcement resulting in increased revenue inflows through PPPs also under the transport ministry.
Implementation of e-government PPPs is the quick-win within the infrastructure and utilities cluster across all government agencies from various ministries and departments.
It is important that government embraces all its projects for maximum benefit to the ordinary citizen.
Given the tight deadline of ZimAsset, periodic reviews are necessary in order not to lose the pulse on the projects otherwise the government will lose traction of the implementation of its blueprint.
PPPs are the only means of busting economic sanctions that the government should commit to by creating an enabling environment. The more successful one PPP project is, the more PPP offers we receive.
Nyasha Chizu is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply writing in his personal capacity. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org Skype: nyasha.chizu