The economy is an interesting subject in Zimbabwe especially with the turn of events over the past decade. The zim dollar era ,the adoption of a multi currency system and in more recent time the issue of reduced liquidity signalling that the economy may be on its way to another recession. I for one am not an economist so can’t really comment on such issues in depth but however I can look at Zimbabwe’s current economic situation from the position of an inspiring engineer with local industry in mind. Most people shy away from any responsibility when the issue of economy is raised; they either quickly point how the government is not doing enough, blame corruption,sanctions ,lack of direct foreign investment and politics. All these factors somehow have affected the way the economy is right now but let’s look in depth to how at micro level the individual can contribute to the economy growing or shrinking.
I recently took a tour of industry in Bulawayo and what I saw was sad. Most industries had either downsized,closed down or had been taken over and converted into a church (yes take an old industrial site and make it a church? really guys). Thereafter I attended a couple of seminars at school and an institute of engineers meeting which shed more light on what is happening and how best the individual can contribute to reviving the economy. I am going to give a list of simple activities that I think if everyone in this country can follow then maybe economic growth can be something instigated by us as Zimbabweans at individual level. These activities are:
1.Buy Zimbabwean products
A lot of industries in Zimbabwe are struggling because of competition from products coming from outside Zimbabwe; mainly South African and Chinese products. And most people don’t realise it but most of the daily consumables they buy are imported and as result our local industry suffers. Before ,it was an argument of quality but then nowadays most of the Zimbabwean companies offering household goods or daily consumables like milk and bread attained ISO certification. To those who dont know ISO is an international standards organization which sets standards for similar services and goods for example ISO 2001 certified milk in SA and ISO 2001 certified milk in Zim have all met the minimum quality and procedural standard of ISO ,so don’t worry about it being poor quality you can just check for ISO or the standards association stamp on the packet. By purchasing a local product you are not only availing a stream of funds to that company to grow and stay afloat ,you are also contributing to the number of new jobs that can be created. This goes for any other product so the next time you shopping,check for a local alternative and leave your own contribution to the economy. I know the dynamics of an economy are far complex but buying Zimbabwe is a start. That goes for beer,music and building materials, do it for zim guys!!!
2. Develop business that creates employment
This is a relatively hard concept to adopt because most people will be like ” if I’m getting my money why I should I worry about what the next man is doing”. Il quote an article from a book I read called “Napoleon Hills Think and Grow Rich ” which talked about how to understand the concept of money. It said you need to look beyond yourself and see what is happening in your city your country or the world. That dollar your employee pays for bread has a tax that’s goes to government,will pay for wages of employees who will in turn buy other products and maintains the demand for fuel as more orders of bread are delivered. The issue of money has a ripple effect and the easiest way to ensure more money available for circulation is to create more people who spend and to create more people who spend those people need to have income. So when you go out setting up yo businesses and organizations have employment creation in mind your country needs you to..
3.Pay your taxes
It is a natural instinct to dodge paying taxes and many people believe by paying them they are being swindled of their money. I am not much of an economist myself like I said before but understand that the government needs money to ensure basics services are offered to the public like security and administration. I went out on new years and was impressed by the order which police maintained that night and as a tax payer myself I felt a sense if pride seeing the officers at work,never the less we all have options regarding such issues but let’s not those options cloud our judgment to do the right thing which is to pay our taxes. This also goes to those people who intentionally avoid registering their companies for fear of tax,how can the government protect your business and employees if you can’t pay tax or contribute NSSA for them.
4. Let’s Innovate
This country needs new ideas in how to make money and develop. Innovation does not only coming with totally new ideas or out of this world concepts it might simply involve introducing order of technology to were it wasn’t before. I’ve seen people growing potatoes in sacks and I thought this could be a revolutionary method for small scale farmers in Matabeleland were I’m from were water is scarce and its little ideas like that that shape and drive for improvement and sustainable growth. I will give the common example of a famous telecommunications company in Zimbabwe whose name I can not publish but which is well known for technological innovation by introducing 3g,4g ,mobile money transfer services and a long list of other products. If you carefully study each of their products you see that they are technologies which existed in other countries way before Zimbabwe but addressed a problem in zim many years after they had been released. So let’s see more of these ideas being introduced into our country and let us exploit the age of technological advancement.
Say no to bribes and corruption
I think this one is self explanatory.
I hope this article has enlightened people on what they can do to contribute to reviving our economy.
Feel free to add your suggestions below:
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