Women and Youth: Drivers of Economic Growth

Women and youth inclusion are an essential component for strengthening the country’s development agenda as it promotes equal participation of women and youth in major economic decision making processes. This came out during a one-day stakeholder engagement meeting conducted by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to review the progress of the Transitional Stabilization Program (TPS) and to craft the National Development Strategy 1 of 2021-2025.

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In its Vision 2030, the government of Zimbabwe committed itself to facilitating an open market employing various strategies such as the Transitional Stabilization Programme (TPS). This programme seeks to operationalize Vision 2030 through acknowledging policy reforms initiatives that will stimulate domestic production, exports, rebuilding and transforming the economy to an upper middle-class income status by 2030.

Speaking during the meeting, Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Vice President Reverend Paul Damasane said economic processes cannot be successful if the general public is not involved. Reverend Damasane said women and youth have an important role in the crafting of economic policies that determine the national development of a country.

“There are no economic processes that can be successful without the involvement of women and young people at the core of these developments. Women and young people have been ignored for a while now, and it is time that they are included in crafting economic policies. This is the reason why we came up with this programme so that we include everyone in development process.”

“We need more women representation because they too have a role to play in the development of the country. Living up to Vision 2030 involves the active participation of economic builders such as our young people. We need to give young people space at such discussions because they make the future,” he said.

During the review session of the progress in the Transitional Stabilization Program, the Chief Director in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Mr. Clive Mphambela said government has established a fund to encourage women and youth in business.

“To encourage entrepreneurship and innovation by Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), especially those owned by youths and women, the government has established a National Venture Capital Fund to the tune of ZWL$500 million. There are also various community projects for women and youth empowerment,” said Mphambela.

Speaking during the same meeting, the Minister of State for Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Honorable Judith Ncube said national development and attainment of Vision 2030 must be a collective effort involving every citizen in the country.

“It is very important for every Bulawayo citizen to participate in such processes in order to foster development in the country. I appeal to the public to play their role so that we can all attain vision 2030,” she said.

Honourable Ncube added: “The focus should also be on increasing production so that we can also increase our exports. This will ensure that the country has enough foreign currency and also ensure self-sufficiency.”

Meanwhile, the National Development Plan consultations which started in October 2019 with the crafting of indicative national policies are still underway. Processes have been halted due to COVID-19 and are expected to end in due time.





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