Women crucial in achieving Vision 2030: Minister Nyoni
ZIMBABWEAN women should play a critical role in various sectors of the economy if the country is to attain its Vision 2030, a Cabinet minister has said.
The impoverished southern African country, which is battling its worst economic crisis, is seeking to achieve an upper middle-income economy in the next 10 years.
Addressing a virtual meeting organised by Global Renaissance Investment recently, Women Affairs minister Sithembiso Nyoni said economic growth can only be achieved with a conducive policy environment and government support to underpin markets with provision of public goods and entrepreneurial incentives.
Nyoni said enhancing women’s participation in development was essential not only for achieving social justice, but also for reducing poverty.
“My ministry has developed a broad-based women economic empowerment framework to ensure that women are taking an active role in trade, mining, agriculture, tourism and manufacturing,” she said.
“For this nation to achieve its Vision 2030, there’s a need for critical mass of women’s participation in the economy and in governance equipped with the necessary skills and resources.”
Worldwide experience shows clearly that supporting a stronger role for women contributes to economic growth, it improves child survival and overall family health, and it reduces fertility, thus helping to slow population growth rates.
Ngoni Dzirutwe, the Global Renaissance Investment chief executive, said women’s economic empowerment boosts productivity, increases economic diversification and income equality in addition to other positive development outcomes.
“Companies greatly benefit from increasing employment and leadership opportunities for women, which is shown to increase organisational effectiveness and growth. It is estimated that companies with three or more women in senior management functions score higher in all dimensions of organisational performance,” he said.
Eve Gadzikwa, the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (Saz) director-general, also implored the government to assist women to expand their businesses into the region.
“Women need to think about the products they can have for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) market. As women, let’s leverage on our entrepreneurship skills as well as digital technology.
“There is also a lot of learning to be done and work on standards for our products to be competitive,” she said adding that Saz has free standards for SMEs currently working on Covid-19- related products such as sanitisers.
The AfCTA presents opportunities for African countries to bring 30 million people out of extreme poverty and raise the incomes of 68 million others who live on less than US$5,50 a day.
According to the World Bank, its implementation would usher in reforms that enhance long term growth in Africa.
With its implementation, trade facilitation measures that cut red tape and simplify customs procedures will drive US$292 billion of the US$450 billion in potential income gains.