New perspectives: Rethinking Zim’s national strategy

According to the World Bank (2022), global economic growth is expected to be around 3% with developing countries heading for hard landing.


Economic rebound has been taking shape in some countries despite the Russia-Ukraine war, Omicron variant, greenfield  foreign direct investment slowdown in China and climate change.

According to the World Bank (2022), global economic growth is expected to be around 3% with developing countries heading for hard landing.

As such, access to fresh capital will be a defining factor for many countries in Africa.

The Covid-19 pandemic taught international financial institutions great lessons on sustainable lending and financing forcing them to rethink the terms.

This article reflects on areas for rethinking the national strategy in Zimbabwe.

Many countries sometimes become enmeshed in endless crisis which could lead to failing to find opportunities, investing in market-creating innovations, and executing a ‘full’ strategy of development and prosperity for all (Christensen et al, 2019).

This article looks at issues that continue to mutate and negatively impact the prospects of attracting quality international investors for Zimbabwe.

Corporate governance

Corporate governance practices and culture goes beyond companies but the whole economy.

It reinforces some of the pervasive contemporary trends of the economy which includes competitiveness, economic profile, private sector business practices, shareholder participation and quality of accountability practices in the country.

Corporate governance is a system of how companies are controlled and directed and provides investors with an indicator on the economic regime. It provides investors with the ability to assess whether they will have full rights when they invest in the country.

Consequently, countries with poor corporate governance practices have been associated with poor economic competitiveness, corruption, money-laundering, illicit transaction and corporate incest.

While the country has the National Code on Corporate Governance in Zimbabwe (Zimcode) which is voluntary, the uptake and compliance has been low.

Given the current corporate culture, there is an urgent need to enact a corporate governance law in Zimbabwe to foster a strong corporate governance culture.

The strong corporate governance in South Africa continues to play a critical advantage in attracting quality investors.

Corporate governance has become a strong indicator for international investors (Aguilar, 20124- Harvard Law), which is why many countries are making corporate governance mandatory by law or directives rather than voluntary.

Financial sector stability

The banking sector in Zimbabwe has for years been dogged by toxic financial engineering which continues to mutate.

The prevailing fragility in the banking sector could have been averted many years ago if strong regulatory systems were implemented.

Contemporary economics of central bank management drives economic development and political stability in any country (Tucker, 2008).

As such, robust and legitimate financial sector regulation should always be a national priority to prevent a mutation of economic crisis.

According to Acemoglu and Robinson (2012) Why Nations fail, institutions and their governance are at the heart of prosperity and failure of nations.

It is undeniable that if no urgent reforms in the banking sector are  instituted, a new financial crisis mutation could emerge.

The banking sector is like a mine shaft support which should always be inspected and reinforced regularly to avoid a collapse.

The economics of financial markets regulation points to a symmetrical position which explains how strongly regulated central bank maintain a strong banking sector in a country (Arnold, 2012).

According to the Africa’s Top 100 banks in 2021 survey, South Africa accounted for 28%, Egypt 20%, Morocco 13.5% and Nigeria 10.6% (African Business, 2021).

Interestingly, the latter countries have strong central banks whose governors were ranked highly according to the Business Insider Africa (2022).

This explains why South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Mauritius and Rwanda continue to succeed through strong financial systems.

When you find the banking sector being accused or associated with illicit transactions, causing inflation and currency crisis, then a real crisis must have mutated which may require a full overhaul of the regulatory system.

Investment policy

With the economic rebound which is starting to be felt in other countries, access to fresh capital will be critical.

However, an investment policy becomes a strategy for marketing the country’s economic opportunities.

Zimbabwe offers vast economic opportunities such that with a sustainable investment policy, the country can easily turn to an economic hub for the region given its natural and human capital.

An investment policy is a critical marketing strategy that should not be taken lightly.

It goes beyond exhibitions, roadshow and the document. International investors have become so intelligent that they cannot easily be convinced by words but proven actions.

As such, the country needs to develop an investment policy anchored by convincing actions which must be substantiated by its nationals first.

Economic culture

The characteristics of an economy should always be kept in check to avoid negative effects.

Investors don’t take negatives sentiments lightly.

An economic profile associated with hyperinflation, corruption, currency crisis, speculation, economic fragility, poverty, armed robberies, high unemployment, illicit transactions, money-laundering and so on, does nothing but attract investors who thrive on illicit practices while pushing sustainable investor further away.

Today, countries like Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and South Korea provide great lessons on how an economic culture provides a great assets for economic sustainability.

The economic culture in Zimbabwe now calls for everyone to be responsible, ethical and exercise Ubuntu.

The culture of self-inflicting for personal benefit only creates opportunities for neighbouring countries.

In conclusion, Zimbabwe needs to attract quality investors who can uplift the country, national economy, end poverty, bring quality jobs and drive economic development.

As such, rethinking the national strategy by driving good corporate governance, financial sector stability, investment policy and economic culture will be a defining moment for economic sustainability.

The country has great potential in agriculture, mining, tourism and services.

As countries move into economic recovery and rebound, it is fundamental that policies and strategies are supported by very strong regulatory and economic institutions with high standards of accountability which can be trusted by citizens first.

  • Ndamba is the chief executive of the Institute for Sustainability Africa (INŚAF), an independent think tank and research institute ‘advancing sustainability initiatives for Africa’.
  • *The articles are coordinated by Lovemore Kadenge, independent consultant, past president of the Zimbabwe Economics Society and past president of the Chartered Governance & Accountancy Institute in Zimbabwe. Email- [email protected] and mobile No. +263 772 382 852  

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