THE Brics group, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, and soon to include Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, stands as a compelling testament to the potential of emerging economies working in harmony to reshape the global economic landscape.
As Zimbabwe contemplates its role within this dynamic consortium, strategic preparation becomes paramount. The journey towards becoming a meaningful contributor to Brics requires foresight, comprehensive reforms, and a commitment to leveraging the collective strength of the group.
In this discourse, we explore the measures that Zimbabwe can undertake to position itself as a key player within Brics, fostering economic growth and advancing mutual interests.
Fostering economic stability
Sustainable economic growth is the bedrock upon which Zimbabwe's contribution to Brics must be built.
A stable macroeconomic environment, characterised by controlled inflation, prudent fiscal management, and predictable monetary policy, is essential.
Structural reforms must be a priority. Streamlining regulations, enhancing transparency, and combating corruption are pivotal for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) and building investor confidence.
Addressing fiscal deficits, fostering efficient tax administration, and reforming public enterprises will contribute to fiscal sustainability — a trait valued within the Brics consortium.
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Investing in infrastructure
Zimbabwe's strategic location in Southern Africa grants it a unique advantage in terms of regional connectivity.
The development of robust infrastructure, including road networks, rail systems, and energy facilities, will not only stimulate domestic growth but also position Zimbabwe as a crucial node within the regional trade landscape.
A modernised infrastructure network is pivotal for efficient cross-border trade and investment facilitation, aspects central to Brics collaboration.
Moreover, digital infrastructure must not be overlooked.
Embracing technology, improving internet connectivity, and fostering an environment conducive to e-commerce will enhance Zimbabwe's competitiveness in a globally connected world, aligning with the digital priorities of Brics nations.
Empowering human capital
Zimbabwe's greatest asset lies in its people. A concerted effort to enhance education, skills development, and innovation will amplify its potential contribution to Brics.
By nurturing a highly skilled workforce, Zimbabwe can engage with the technological advancements and innovations promoted within Brics.
Collaborative research projects, technology transfer, and knowledge exchange will foster a culture of innovation and contribute to the growth of knowledge-based industries.
Promoting export-oriented growth
A crucial avenue for Zimbabwe's contribution to Brics lies in its ability to enhance its export capabilities.
Identifying and capitalising on niche sectors with export potential will not only fuel economic growth but also align with Brics' emphasis on intra-group trade.
Zimbabwe's proximity to South Africa, its largest trading partner, should be harnessed to foster mutually beneficial trade relations, allowing Zimbabwean goods to access global markets through established value chains.
Leveraging multilateral engagement
Zimbabwe's membership in regional governance bodies, notably the Southern African Development Community (Sadc), provides a platform for synergistic collaboration with Brics partners.
Coordination between regional and international objectives will amplify Zimbabwe's influence and facilitate the alignment of policies that benefit both the nation and the Brics group.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) presents a transformative opportunity for Zimbabwe to enhance its regional and global trade ties.
By actively participating in AFCFTA, Zimbabwe can expand its market access, stimulate industrialisation, and amplify its contribution to Brics through harmonised trade policies and market integration.
The journey of Zimbabwe towards becoming a meaningful contributor to Brics is not without challenges.
It demands sustained commitment from policymakers, business leaders, and citizens alike.
While progress may be gradual, the long-term benefits of meaningful participation cannot be understated.
In conclusion, Zimbabwe's role within close proximity to the Brics network is not merely symbolic; it presents an opportunity for the nation to assert its presence on the global stage and contribute to reshaping the economic dynamics of emerging economies.
By fostering economic stability, investing in infrastructure, empowering human capital, promoting exports, and aligning regional and multilateral efforts, Zimbabwe can carve a niche within Brics that is both impactful and mutually beneficial.
As Zimbabwe embarks on this transformative journey, it is imperative that all stakeholders with an interest in the country recognise the immense potential of collaborative action and work collectively to position the nation as a driving force within the Brics consortium.
- Dzinotyiwei is the founder of the Zimbabwe Economic Youth Foundation, a non-profit organisation which works to empower the youth to become active participants in the economy. These weekly New Horizon articles, published in the Zimbabwe Independent, are coordinated by Lovemore Kadenge, an independent consultant, managing consultant of Zawale Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, past president of the Zimbabwe Economics Society and past president of the Chartered Governance & Accountancy Institute in Zimbabwe (CGI Zimbabwe). — [email protected] or mobile: +263 772 382 852.