Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
Government is working on a comprehensive National Economic Empowerment Strategy to ensure that all Zimbabweans benefit from indigenisation and empowerment processes that are underway.
The strategy would be implemented in four stages with the inaugural economic empowerment conference on October 16 in Harare, which is expected to draw 4 000 delegates.
Indigenisation, Youth and Economic Empowerment Minister Patrick Zhuwao told journalists in Harare yesterday that the indigenisation levy would be reviewed to 12,5 percent in 2017 to raise more money for empowerment process.
He said the National Economic Empowerment Strategy would have buy-in from all Zimbabweans by way of convening provincial and district meeting before its launch.
“We need to develop a strategy for national economic empowerment,” he said.
“We develop that strategy through a four-stage process. That four-stage process will involve convening of what we are calling the inaugural national economic empowerment conference. The aim of that conference is to put in place a framework that will enable us to access ideas on how we can move forward with economically empowering Zimbabweans.
“The second stage of the process involves convening a forum at which Zimbabweans in their various districts will talk about strategies to economically empower themselves taking into consideration the peculiarities of the individual districts they operate from.
“We then go to the third stage of that process which is the consolidation of those district initiatives through provincial economic conferences and then the fourth stage will be the convening of the first economic empowerment conference that will then take on board will have been deliberated at upon at district and provincial levels.
“Theme of the conference is ‘Accelerating Economic Empowerment: Localising the 10-Point Plan’.”
Minister Zhuwao said the conference would draw representatives from all the country’s districts and its key objectives include establishment of mechanisms for accelerating economic empowerment and creating a participatory platform for stakeholders to contribute towards accelerated implementation of economic empowerment among others.
He said Zimbabweans in the Diaspora had a net worth of about $50 billion that should be tapped to finance the economy.
Minister Zhuwao said it was unfortunate that some people were making ignorant utterances about the indigenisation law.
He said the essence of the law was to enable existing companies to attract additional investment.
Minister Zhuwao said he was keen to grow the economy adding that Zimbabwe would have an indigenised economy by 2018.
He said reports that the push for indigenisation would scare away Foreign Direct Investment were misplaced.
Minister Zhuwao vowed that by the time his term of office lapses, Government would have achieved the two million jobs enunciated in Zim-Asset.
“We should not run away from the question: Where are the 2,2 million jobs? By the time my term of office expires the 2,2 million jobs will be out there.
“This is why I am talking about the National Empowerment Strategy that goes down to the district level and really talks to every individual with regards to creating employment – not only creating employment but overcoming underemployment which is the much more significant problem that we have.”