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A philanthropic spirit encompassed with an entrepreneurial mind, I am passionate about technology and the things technology can help people to achieve.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Is Zimbabwe Ready For Change?

As the social network revolution sweeps past Muslim countries, many in Zimbabwe have been murmuring that such a wave should flow to Zimbabwe. It is agreed across political circles that change is long overdue in Zimbabwe. For ZANU PF its the succession debate that has been simmering for a long time, nationally its the people yearning for a less autocratic system of governance, a passing of the baton from the liberation movement's grip on power. The north African revolutions are spontaneous, uncoordinated, ours is a protracted one, the government is well aware of the aspirations of the majority hence always on the alert.

Despite the mood in Zimbabwe, most people are not prepared for what change would usher in. There are many citizens who sought asylum in countries such as England, to them change means letting go of the good life jumping to the next plane to Zimbabwe. Their complicity was evident when they were addressed by the Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, booing him when he advised them to prepare for the home coming. The thought of going back to Zimbabwe haunts many who are somehow trapped in the first world, many left home with personal goals, only to find these frustrated by watertight first world economies that do not promote enough saving, heavily leaning on credit systems to siphon the meagre wages.

The less spoken of element of change is on the economic front, most Zimbabweans at home and abroad do not have capital reserves. Change will only see many look on as investment opportunities are taken by mostly foreign companies and individuals. If there is investment by locals it will be small scale or the preserve of a few well to do individuals. This is a situation far from ideal, having put up with a lot of violence, suffering & exploitation, Zimbabweans deserve to reap the gains of an economic boom. But can we escape the calamity that has befallen most countries that were in our predicament? Its possible, we have to be strategic in our outlook, we have to muster the art of working collectively, pooling our resources together.

As individuals we can be frustrated at the thought of change, we can look at our incapacity then fall into apathy to the extent of loathing those that preach change. As a people we ought to be in active dialogue on how we can make collective investments across the whole economy. Despite our exceptional literacy rates, we seem to have been deliberately deprived of knowledge in the areas of investment, few Zimbabweans know the mechanics investment instruments such as shares, bonds and tr. In my time of schooling I did not come across a lesson teaching how one can apply wisdom to trading in shares, unit trusts and government bonds.

However true emancipation does not come easy, we have to be prepared for the belt tightening that comes with it, the current scenario whereby government goes to seek foreign cash injection is exchange for mining, farming and manufacturing concerns is just but an addressing of the symptoms. The fall out with the West and subsequent withdrawal of much investment by companies such as Anglo-America, BHP Billiton awakened us to the harsh reality that we have no safety net albeit we walk a tight rope some miles above the ground, our fall can only be disastrous. For the little resources we can be able to extract from the ground, we should invest in capital goods that will create more opportunities with the aim for self-sustenance. Added to this frugal spending must be an investment in technology, Zimbabwe's internet penetration ratio is very low for a country with high literacy rates, for competiveness goods must be produced with as little cost incurred, technology is at the heart of most gains made to reduce cost of manufacture.

To achieve a different set of results, we must do things different, since independence we joined the long list of perennial beggars, moving from nation to nation, bloc to bloc with our begging bowl as if the first world owe us anything. The beggarly mentality must cease, it’s a mockery when our leaders go before national television and mourn that we have been excluded from an AIDS funding project. Such experiences only serve to entrench the penury case in the minds of young children. Nothing is given for free, the borrower will always subject to the lender, its ironic that some sections of our politicians scream sovereignity and freedom yet still go about begging. Can a beggar be a master of anything? Does a beggar have the tools to influence anything except a handout of coins from the well-to-do passers-by? Food for thought, bottomline we need a shift in our mindsets, get down to work for the people, deploy our meagre resources to the most economically beneficial projects. The chasing of luxury cars, mansions in Scotts mountains must stop and end with the current politicians, we need new brooms to sweep better, only then will we find safety in our own domicile and perhaps have the luxury to scream a genuine SOVEREIGNTY.