Govt partners lose faith in NDS1

Mussie Delelegn

GOVERNMENT’S development partners have revealed that they have lost faith in the timing of the economic blueprint, National Development Strategy 1 (NDS 1), which is targeted to push Zimbabwe to attain middle-income status by 2030.

Representatives of various private voluntary organisation (PVOs) believe NDS 1 has failed to achieve some of its objectives.

The government in October 2020 launched NDS 1 amid expectation that it would chart Zimbabwe’s economic course until 2025 while setting a footing for NDS 2 which was expected to then shape the socio-economic trajectory from 2026 to 2030.

The PVOs made the observations during the National Policy-Level Workshop on fostering productive capacities in Zimbabwe for industrialisation, economic diversification and inclusive growth.

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Productive Capacities and Sustainable Development Branch acting head Mussie Delelegn called on the government to revisit its targets.

Delelegn said the government should consider setting “post-2030 targets” to have adequate time to address severe challenges faced by the country.

“There is no way these targets will be reached by 2030 because 2030 is not too far. We need to be realistic and revisit these targets. Also, the country needs to look at the post 2030 targets.

“The country will lose its monetary policy if it dollarises. I am very much struck by the import dominance. Africa has become the net importer, hence making the continent vulnerable,” Delelegn said.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries chief economist Cornelius Dube blamed government  regulations for negatively impacting the private sector.

“Now we have something that I have called, this is just, I have called it Private Sector Financed Regulation. So, we have an SI [statutory instrument] that is enforced by the Health ministry, which is also enforced by the Vet Department.

“If you want to import an agricultural product, the officials from the Health ministry and the Vet Department have to go to the country that you want to import from.

“The total amount that the manufacturing sector players pay just to be deemed compliant to the various regulatory authorities, your Ema [Environmental Management Agency], AMA [Agricultural Marketing Authority] and National Biotechnology Authority, all those four organisations, the total amount of money that they are paid constitutes almost 18% of over-heads.”

Dube added: “But why did we get to this stage? There was a time when Treasury was very constrained, and obviously, some of our regulators could not discharge their mandates, simply because Treasury was fiscally constrained. So, they were allowed, through legislation, to try to collect on their own.”

He also blamed exports reaching US$50 million, adding that Zimbabwean industries have no desire to try new initiatives to produce other goods.

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