Prosper Ndlovu and Leonard Ncube, Chronicle Reporters
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa will today lead key proceedings in a double schedule in the resort city of Victoria Falls where he is set to officially open the End of Term Judges Symposium this morning and the inaugural Zimbabwe Economic Development Conference (ZEDCON) in the afternoon.
The Judicial Services Commission (JSC) hosts the annual judges’ indaba, which is being attended by members of the local bench and regional delegates including Comesa Competition Tariffs Board representatives.
The crunch meetings seek to reflect on the current legal year and is expected to come up with resolutions that will guide the coming legal session.
The ZEDCON began on Tuesday with local and international delegates drawn from a diversity of stakeholders including academia, economic research institutions, policy makers, development partner agencies, industry and commerce, among others.
It comes at a time when the global economy is being adversely impacted by the disruptive headwinds emanating from the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
Zimbabwe, however, has exhibited resilience so far and is poised to record an estimated revised positive growth of 4,6 percent this year down from the initial 5,5 percent projection. The growth is driven by the Second Republic’s supportive policy reforms, which have stabilised macro-economic fundamentals and rejuvenated domestic production.
Hosted by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, the conference runs under the theme: “Accelerating Economic Transformation Through Evidence-Based Policy Making”.
President Mnangagwa arrived in Victoria Falls last night aboard an Air Zimbabwe plane.
He was welcomed by Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister, Richard Moyo, Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, his deputy Clemence Chiduwa, senior Government officials and service chiefs.
In an interview Prof Ncube said discussions from the conference including today’s official opening session will feed into the crafting of the 2023 national budget, which will further build momentum towards attainment of the National Development Strategy (NDS1) goals.
“The conference is so unique in that it is evidence based and designed to improve policy making towards achieving Vision 2030 through NDS1,” he said.
“We have been having policies that were based on consultation but we are now doing hard science research to fine-tune our policy making. This is the first conference we have put together as Government to bring critical stakeholders to the table to share with us their hard evidence that is aimed at improving policy making.”
Prof Ncube said the engagements so far since the start of the event focused on fiscal and monetary policy issues, industrialisation and value addition.
He said there was more scope in terms of unlocking the informal sector potential in the economy, which is also one of the key topics.
“We are going to look into the informal sector all leading up to the official opening by President Mnangagwa tomorrow afternoon. So, by the time we get to the official opening we would have covered a lot of ground and be able to share with him and everyone else in the country our findings and discussions,” said the minister.
“All that will input into the crafting of the 2023 national budget.”
In coming up with the ZEDCON conference, the Government has stressed the need to promote Evidence Informed Policy Making (EIPM), and knowledge management as an important driver of policy dialogue, good policy planning and implementation.
The platform modelling demonstrates that the Second Republic has a listening leadership which does not want to leave no-one and no place behind as it pushes the philosophy “Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo/Ilizwe lakhiwa ngabaninilo”.
The Bulawayo City Council is among the participants, having embraced the NDS1, which it is also promoting through its corporate strategy.
Key speakers at the conference include Prof Ncube, World Bank country director, Ms Marjorie Mpundu and banker Mr Nigel Chanakira, African Diaspora Development Institute(ADDI) founder, Dr Arikana Chihombori-Quao, Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and Victoria Falls Stock Exchange chief executive officer, Mr Justin Bgoni and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, Dr John Mangudya.