Lovemore Chikova Development Dialogue
The New Dispensation led by President Mnangagwa has crafted its agenda around the main target of achieving an upper middle income economy under Vision 2030.
The vision is being pursued from various angles, but there are three building blocks that anchor the achievement of this goal.
The three bedrocks for the attainment of Vision 2030 are the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) (2018-2020), the First National Development Plan (2021-2025) and the Second National Development Plan (2026-2030).
Before delving into what these three stages concern, it is important to give a brief background on what it means to be an upper middle income economy.
The World Bank groups countries into four categories of low income, lower-middle income, upper middle income and high income.
In coming up with these groups, the institution considers the Gross National Income (GNI) per capita, which measures the total amount of money earned by a nation’s people and businesses.
GNI calculations also include investment income, regardless of where it was earned and covers money received from abroad such as foreign investment and economic development aid.
For this year, the low income countries are those with an income of less than US$1 036, while those in the lower middle income are between US$1 036 and US$4 045.
For upper middle income countries, the income should be between US$4 046 and US$12 535, while high income countries have incomes of more than US$12 535.
A number of issues are considered on measuring the GNI, including economic growth and shifts in inflation and exchange rates.
Transitional Stabilisation Programme (2018-2020)
The programme ran its course and is coming to an end in December, having achieved all its provisions which resulted in fiscal consolidation, monetary policy restoration and exchange rate and prices stabilisation.
Under the TSP, massive State enterprises reforms were carried out, while institutions like the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA) were set up to ensure the ease of doing business for investors.
Structural and governance reforms were carried out and the New Dispensation intensified engagement and re-engagement with all countries across the world to restore the country to its rightful position in international affairs.
Emphasis was also put on the production sector under the TSP and innovation was made the watch word, as the country sought to prosper through industrialisation and modernisation.
The major achievement of the TSP was the stabilisation and re-alignment of economic fundamentals, as witnessed by the stability in the exchange rate and prices.
Stability in these critical areas has set the tone for the achievement of Vision 2030, because it would have been difficult to move forward with a volatile exchange rate and rising inflation.
The TSP targeted reforms in various sectors of the economy, including undertaking of projects in areas like mining, tourism, infrastructure, industry, health, youth and gender, financial sector and savings mobilisation, ICTs and the digital economy.
First National Development Plan (2021-2025)
A national development plan is an important factor for any developing country, as it outlines the course of action, targets and results assessment.
The plan, which is on the drafting stage, should be concerned with the generation of wealth, so that citizens can be taken out of poverty and enjoy certain levels of prosperity in various facets of life.
It is an overall plan of action, setting measurable goals and targets that can be assessed.
For Zimbabwe, the major goal is to achieve an upper middle income economy by 2030, and all provisions of the First National Development Plan should focus on this central vision.
Government has opened up the consultative process for the new development plan to ensure that it is all-inclusive and takes on board views from as many stakeholders as possible.
The First National Development Plan will consolidate the gains made under the TSP, and should move on to issues like supporting production, value addition and beneficiation to the abundant natural resources, strengthening good governance and fighting corruption.
A well-crafted national development plan will give the country an immense value in mapping the path towards achieving Vision 2030.
The national development plan should lead to a full economic recovery, especially after the country was hit by setbacks such as Cyclone Idai and Covid-19.
According to Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda, Cabinet has already approved the concepts around the First National Development Plan.
Measures to be considered under the plan will bring out the country’s potential and achieve an all-inclusive growth.
Dr Sibanda said the programmes and measures include transforming the economy and moving it up the value chain, ensuring nutrition and food security and rehabilitating and developing infrastructure.
The national development plan will also contain measures to promote investments, build climate resilience and mitigation and enhance national unity and social cohesion.
It will aim at eradicating poverty and promote sustainable livelihoods of the poor women, youth and vulnerable groups, while strengthening institutions and systems of good governance.
The engagement and re-engagement process is expected to be consolidated under this development plan to improve the country’s standing and image both regionally and internationally.
One of the major factors expected to run through the new development plan is devolution, which is expected to be vigorously implemented to ensure lower tiers of Government are empowered to make local economic decisions.
It is through devolution that the development of provinces and districts is expected to be fast-tracked, as locals are given the powers to develop their areas using available resources.
In fact, devolution has since assumed a high position on the development agenda of the New Dispensation to achieve an all-encompassing economic growth.
Crafting of the First National Development Plan started in October 2019, and it will be Integrated Results Based Management (IRBM) compliant — outlining the national priorities, national outcomes, key result areas and key performance indicators.
This makes it easier for follow-ups, thereby giving early indicators on any adjustments that night be necessary to ensure success of the programmes and projects.
Second National Development Plan (2026-2030)
This will be the final stage for pushing towards achieving Vision 2030, with the journey having started with the coming in of the New Dispensation in 2017.
It is expected that this national development plan’s major aim will be to consolidate all the gains made under the TSP and the First National Development Plan.
The years 2026 to 2030 will be crucial as they will be last five before the attainment of the envisaged upper middle income economy.
By the time the plan comes into effect, Government will be already thinking about tying the loose ends to ensure that the final stage for achieving Vision 2030 is done smoothly.
Projects being undertaken now in areas like mining, farming, tourism, electricity, infrastructure, ICT and health should be bearing the results by the time this development plan comes into effect.
These projects will help push the attainment of Vision 2030, and score a huge positive shift in the population’s standards of living.
With the roadmap clearly marked by these plans and indicators, there is nothing that can stop the New Dispensation from achieving its dreams of a prosperous society by 2030.