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Great Zimbabwe - a trillion dollar economy by 2045

by 08/10/2015 03:36:00 0 comments 1 Views

We have to believe that for political and not economic reasons, our country is operating way below its capacity and potential. We can indeed build one of the richest economies in Africa because we have everything we need to do so.

One of the famous classic books ever written was by Michael Hammer and James Champy titled "Reengineering the Corporation". The book gives great insight how corporations can reinvent new processes and leadership in order to thrive.  In the book the authors share how to survive next 4 decades.  It says that engineering is so critical because "At the heart of business reengineering lies the motion of "discontinuous thinking" which involves abandoning out-dated rules and fundamental assumptions that underlie current business operations."

That is a profound statement and I would rephrase it and say that- "at the heart of reengineering Zimbabwe must be discontinuous thinking, where we abandon the old political and economic paradigms and their fundamental assumptions and replace them with a fresh and new narrative. This new narrative must say that Zimbabwe is great country ( Great Zimbabwe!), whose potential remains largely untapped. Zimbabwe has all it needs to rise, whether in human or physical assets.

I want here to cast a vision that Zimbabwe can be the Singapore, Taiwan or tiger of Africa with a trillion dollar economy in 30 years' time by 2045. All we have to do is to believe in that idea.

It was Henry Ford who was asked how he could have built such an enormous enterprise from nothing. His reply was that he did not start with nothing, that everything we need is already there. I believe that when it comes to Zimbabwe.

The future of our country Zimbabwe depends on how we imagine it. I think we have all learnt that we can no longer abdicate our responsibility in creating the Zimbabwe we desire to others and it is now time we start to fashion a grand vision for our country.

We must do our best to begin to ignore the contentious politics that continue to suck our energy with no tangible results and in its place, cast a compelling national vision beyond politics. We must reinvent and re-engineer Zimbabwe with audacity and hope understanding that we have gone through the worst and the best is yet to come.

In organizational science, "re-engineering means moving an organization from an old paradigm that does not or is failing to serve the company's vision, to a new paradigm that creates new hope and can generate new ideas that "retools" a the leadership, management and workers to be more creative and enterprising. Paradigm in this case means the sum total of philosophies, ideas, beliefs and the processes we create.

Last week I started a conversation with some of my colleagues in the Diaspora and we want to cast a new vision for our country that says Zimbabwe can be a trillion dollar economy with full employment in 30 years' time if we begin to imagine it now. I have no doubt in my mind that it is possible and we have millions of talented smart Zimbabweans out there who can begin to tell us the how to make it happen.

What is important now is not the how, but the what. In other words, what do we want, what does it involve, what can we do now.
This is something we Africans continually fail to do; we neither dream big enough nor believe that we can succeed on our own. We want aid and loans from others and when that happens they set our economic and social developmental agenda.

"Africa has been stagnant at the philosophical, the genesis, and the creative level and is stuck with an old paradigm with old philosophies which were not designed to prosper Africa. This has become the ultimate African nemesis" and so says my dear friend Hannington Mubaiwa, the visionary from whom I have borrowed the ideas herein..

Zimbabweans must realize that unless and until we crash the old and re-entrepreneur, (thinking of the next great possibilities), re-engineer, be creative and rebrand ourselves, we cannot innovate our market value on the global free enterprise market place to tap into capital.  This capital is not from governments but in the free market.

Bottom line is that we can indeed raise our own adequate capital through free enterprise engagement and cut off the old dependency paradigm of foreign government aid and "loans". This means we must therefore offer value as a country. We definitely have the assets to do so. We just have to rebrand and re-imagine ourselves and that is not a difficult task at all. All we need is a big idea.

Now this needs a new mentality and a re-awakening of our self-belief. We cannot expect politics to move in that realm nor can we expect other nations to think for us and drive the developmental agenda as they have done in the past. This to me is the total empowerment of Africans that we speak of.

For example, we must start to build consensus to access $60bn for Zimbabwe's fast track massive industrialization capital and the genesis of growth of central and southern Africa. The multiplier effect alone, local and regional, will build adequate momentum for the future, thus creating enough economic activity to drive us towards the vision of a trillion dollar economy in 30 years.

In order to get there, a definite and precise engineering process has to be established to make all those things happen and we have thousands of Zimbabwean engineers out there whose skills we must now use to develop our country. The limits we have are surely the ones which we choose to acknowledge!

Let's forget the politics. That is a side show merely designed to satisfy short sightedness and the selfish ambition of both the local and international predatory cabal with little interest in creating sustainable societies in Africa.

Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. This article is in collaboration with Hannington Mubabiwa, a Zimbabwean based in America. You may contact Vince on [email protected]

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