By Joyce Mukucha
The Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) held a 5th Annual Business Review Conference aimed at proffering new solutions that contribute to economic development. The symposium was running under the theme, ‘Expanding Horizons: Dynamic Solutions for Economic Turnaround‘, which augurs well with Government’s trajectory of a Middle Income Economy by 2030.
Launching the survey in Harare on the 5th of December 2019, His Excellency Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa commended ZNCC for continuing to engage in positive dialogues and said Government was aimed at improving competitiveness of business in all sectors. He said collaborative efforts from all stakeholders, partners, and business sectors were critical in bringing in positive response that can lead Zimbabwe to attain prosperity.
“This platform allows us as Government to proffer solutions towards economic development for our great nation. This comes at an opportune time when we should be increasing profits and I call ZNCC to continue taking a leading role in ensuring increased productivity and investment. The chamber should work hard as we strive that our nation become an upper middle economy by 2030,” he said.
The ZNCC president Tamuka Macheka said the conference was intended to offer solutions that build a brighter Zimbabwe as well as ensuring that sustainable growth of the nation is perceived
“As we gather as business and Government, we should intend to evaluate what has been happening in our nation. The chamber has been broadening its focus to ensure that in the midst of challenges prevailing and weighing on the ease of doing business in Zimbabwe, solutions are provided. The country is currently being affected by extreme power outages, unjustified sanctions, drought among other encounters and this is the time to find the right solutions,” he said.
The conference was also graced by the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) president, Jackie Luthuli who highlighted that JCCI and ZNCC were making significant efforts in supporting each other in as much as transformation of both nations is concerned.
Luthuli indicated that Zimbabwe remains one the South Africa’s trading partner and she promised that South Africa’s business will continue to revitalise the economy of Zimbabwe through provision of new dynamics.
“JCCI and ZNCC will continue working together to seek growth opportunities for our countries. High levels of unemployment, poverty, and drought currently affecting Zimbabwe should be eradicated. In line with this, as sister chambers, we thrive to guarantee that a decent nation with high quality livelihoods is created. As the president, I’m confident that this conference will proffer robust solutions and a fruitful framework that will give Zimbabwe a new shape and future with boosted growth,” said Luthuli.
She also pointed out that women were powerful incubators of the nation and they should be given an opportunity to participate in business spheres.
The relationship existing between JCCI and ZNCC was also commended by the ZNCC Chief Executive Officer Christopher Mugaga as he mentioned that the partnerships continue to yield positive results upon both nations.
On the impact of energy challenges on business in Zimbabwe, Mugaga said Zimbabwean situation remains economically constrained a lot still needs to be done so as to positively drive the economy and ensure energy security and human wellbeing. According to the research which aimed at capturing business concerns regarding the energy policy in Zimbabwe as well as assessing the impact of energy challenges on business, he said, ZNCC observed that the needs of consumers were not being met.
“Energy is a key enabler to all sectors that contribute to economic development. Extreme power outages are negatively impacting on various businesses. Business operators are facing a challenge of losing customers and according to the respondents, 85 percent is affected. Concerning issue of fuel, 88 percent of respondents who are using generators to carry out business highlighted that their profits is largely affected. Therefore, there is need to proffer alternatives and start delivering renewable sources of power as means of long term planning for continued sustainable energy sources,” Mugaga said.
Finance Minister Prof Mthuli Ncube on Post Fiscal statement, notes that austerity days are over, and 2020 should be a better year. Agriculture, Mining and Industry output is expected to go up in the upward trajectory in the coming year. Financing model for Agriculture has been moved to the banks, which is expected to yield better results in that sector.
“ In the mining industry, a 12 billion solar industry is expected by year 2023. Brick by brick the industry will be built,” he said.