Mugabe must learn from Japan

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe quietly flew into the country yesterday morning after a two-week visit to Japan where he held bilateral talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and also attended the third United Nations Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.

However, during his absence, chaos reigned supreme as prisoners rioted while industrial action paralysed the nation’s State universities — revealing deep-seated resentment and discontent among Zimbabweans over the decades-long Zanu PF government’s mismanagement of the economy.

It is our sincere hope that Mugabe used his short stay in Japan to learn a few lessons from the giant Asian nation on having long-term economic plans and saving the economy from collapse.

Japan has a unique perspective on poverty reduction and development for a variety of reasons, not least because of the lessons it learned from its own path to modernisation. The paucity of natural resources prompted the Asian giant to focus on its most important resource: Japanese people. Japan succinctly understood that growth was not simply fuelled by natural resources. It is spurred and sustained by people — through skills, education, training, innovation and social cohesion.

If only the Zanu PF government would prioritise its people by unveiling competitive salaries for its servants, particularly in the civil service, and ensuring that students are adequately catered for in tertiary institutions, we could be talking of a different Zimbabwe today. 

Japan also has a strong track record of development assistance through bilateral and multilateral channels, and while the country’s approach has evolved considerably, a focus on human-resource development is central to its philosophy.

While Zimbabwe boasts of abundant natural resources, these are not extracted by knowledgeable locals. The country will continue to export these raw materials to other countries that have invested in their citizens through effective training and capacity building. Human-resource development also means fostering democracy and recognising the importance of human dignity and development at an individual level.

Japan’s model seeks to ensure that individuals feel empowered and proud of the contribution they make to society. This includes a particular focus on young people and women who, when provided with the necessary education, will become the engine for the development of their countries, and can be empowered to transform political and social systems.

Infrastructure also plays a critical role in enabling linkages between markets that allow the benefits of trade to spread. It is the combination of infrastructure and human resources that provides the foundation for greater private-sector investment. 

It is our sincere hope, Mr President, that you learnt a skill or two on “Abenomics” and we are expecting you to start implementing a new set of policies geared toward jolting the stagnating economy out of its deflationary malaise.

Comments (1)

its too late to learn anything. the old man learns nothing besides keeping himself in power earning $12k while the c/servants earn below $400

hooter - 23 March 2015

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