By Shingirai Vambe
Stakeholders who attended the just ended 2021-2022 Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce conference left the resort town of Victoria Falls relieved and optimistic of an economic turnaround following a successful deliberations between the private sector and Government.
Delegates from various corporates bemoaned policy inconsistency in the Government with the delays in consultation. All these had a negative effect on building confidence in the local currency as shown by the day to day business between the private sector and parastatals.
The topical issue being the exchange rate, the private sector claims there are no proper consultations done before issuance of policies that have to do with money, buying and selling and service provision.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, Engineer Gloria Magombo told Post on Sunday that Government is partnering companies willing to generate energy to feed into the national grid for domestic consumption.
The energy sector has low hanging fruits, which, if utilised are a boon for growth.
Magombo applauded the work done by Old Mutual in establishing a solar plant in Matebeleland and small hydro plants by Nyangani Renewable Energy. All these are feeding into the main grid.
With the realities of climate change, the global environment has also deteriorated and worsened by the geopolitical tensions in Europe.
Requests made during the conference of Parties in Glasgow last year, Africa only received 2 percent of the allocated funds and more has to be done to be self-reliant.
“With the work being done in Hwange at plant 7 and 8, by March next year, output is estimated to reach 600 megawatts. However, I urge all interested individuals and companies with project proposals to venture into the energy industry to come forward. Government has come up with a lot of friendly policies that will see growth in the private sector,” said Magombo.
World Bank Country Manager, Majorie Mpundu, said the energy price shocks can reduce global output by 5 percent in 2022 and cumulatively by about 8 percent by 2023.
According to the World Bank Report, 44 percent of the Zimbabwean population is living in extreme poverty, climate change, political and economic instability being major drivers of impoverishment.
However, the New Chamber president, Mike Kamungeremu, beamed with confidence and unity of purpose to the private sector and entrepreneurs while calling for engagement with Government and policy makers to create a conducive business environment.
Kamungeremu told this publication that there is need for the removal of many regulations that increase the cost of doing business and compliance in Zimbabwe.
“Our vision as a chamber is to be an upbeat Business Member Organisation that lobbies and drives the growth of the Zimbabwean economy,” said Kamungeremu.
He added that the task that lies ahead is to lobby for the improvement in the operating environment, improvement in the ease of doing business through simplification of Government processes and this requires close cooperation between the Government and private sector in identifying pieces of legislation so that they are scrapped.
“The majority of these policies we are working with now served their purpose and are now irrelevant,” said Kamungeremu.
With outdated policies stifling ease of doing business, there clarion calls to realign the measures grows louder with each forum held.
This year’s theme for the conference was “bolstering resilience and innovativeness for sustainable growth” and the sponsors included, NSSA, Old Mutual, ZB Financial Holdings, POTRAZ, TelOne, Delta Corporation, Econet, FBC bank, to mention just a few.
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