MDC-T launches new economic blueprint

THE Morgan Tsvangirai-led Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) yesterday launched its economic blueprint, acronymed Juice, which it says is aimed at correcting Zimbabwe’s structurally weak economy characterised by “enclavity”, huge levels of poverty, social underdevelopment, decayed infrastructure and a crippling debt overhang.

CLIVE MPHAMBELA

Juice stands for Jobs, Upliftment, Investment Capital and the Environment, and is apparently a counter proposal to Zanu PF’s Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Programme.

“Juice is our framework to create jobs and build a strong, growing economy that is financially and environmentally sustainable, where growth is evenly shared across the country and not by a privileged few,” reads part of the detailed document.

The MDC-T says with more than eight in every 10 people in Zimbabwe unemployed, the pressing need is for creating new jobs, which is more empowering than indeterminate share ownership.

The blueprint’s thrust is to reverse the economy’s inability to grow and create jobs. The MDC-T document says 32 years of a Zanu PF government had compounded the country’s structural problems as self-induced policy distortions were effected by a government with no vision, craft or competence of moving the country forward.

According to Juice, jobs are not just the engine of poverty reduction or a derivative of growth – “they are transformative in and of themselves, and can help drive the pathways to development”.

The policy document lays out the MDC— T’s job plan and sets out what it says are “the foundations of a multi-sectoral approach to job creation, wealth creation and poverty alleviation. The policy document also lays out key benchmarks which it sets out to achieve over a five-year period.

“As a direct result of Juice we expect to achieve the creation of one million new jobs between 2013 and 2018, with a projected average GDP growth rate of 8% per annum,” the document says.

Macroeconomic stability anchored in single-digit inflation, deepening and strengthening the role of SMEs, widening domestic savings mobilisation and the normalisation of Zimbabwe’s international relations, are among Juice’s objectives.

The MDC-T says it would implement a Natural Resources Charter, promote a green economy, and increase power generation capacity to 6 000 Megawatts by 2018. The MDC-T hopes to drive reconstruction of the country’s infrastructure and attract FDI of at least 30% of GDP.
The aim is to lay the foundation for a US$100 billion first world economy by 2040.

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