Learning By Example
This week Rwanda opened its doors to the world to host the World Economic Forum in Africa.
Following the horror of genocide and civil war in the 1990s, Rwanda has since achieved economic growth of an average 7.8% since 2000. It is the leader in business competitiveness in Africa, enabling both local companies and international investors to thrive, create thousands of jobs and raise revenues for investing in services for the people. Tourism is the country’s biggest earner of foreign exchange and contributes more than 7% to GDP, compared to our 3%.
What can we take from this in Zambia? To all those who say our aspirations and plans aren’t realistic we say that such examples show that this is not true. It is just that Zambians have come to expect so little from their politicians.
We too can cut back regulation, provide tax incentives, increase support for our SMEs and invest heavily in our greatest asset – the Zambian people. We too can see the benefits of such an approach in creating jobs, increasing government revenues and driving economic growth.
In fact, as a country we already have many great natural advantages that can help us on our way, including vast amounts of land, sizeable water bodies, minerals from copper to emeralds, and world-class natural wonders. Yet to date we have failed to capitalise on these for the benefit of our people.
What it takes to make this happen is hard work, vision and political will. Right now our Government is lacking all three ingredients.