Yesterday we carried a report in which we revealed that under President Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe has embarked on record-breaking road construction and infrastructure rehabilitation programmes.
High grade asphalt concrete roads are being constructed to facilitate the movement of goods on major highways, while the National Railways of Zimbabwe’s recapitalisation and rehabilitation of the rail-road network will reduce the load on the country’s roads.
The programme represents a great leap from the previous administration and continued development will take Zimbabwe to unprecedented levels.
Zimbabwe is thus, to put it literally, on the road to massive development anchored on President Mnangagwa’s vision to make Zimbabwe a middle income economy by 2030.
The President has previously said: “We must make sure that we develop our country to catch up with the rest of the developing countries in the world. We have given ourselves as the new dispensation 12 years. In 12 years’ time, we shall be a middle income country in Sadc.”
According to the World Bank, the term “middle income economy” is an analytical classification of the world’s economies based on estimates of gross national income (GNI) per capita for the previous year.
Zimbabwe’s vision is to be up there. It means Zimbabwe will not only be a regional champion, but also a continental giant. The road to that status is being paved right now.
Road and transportation systems are key enablers of socio-economic development.
Goods and people are moved with ease, facilitating production and trade. A country with an economy like Zimbabwe’s where there is a lot of primary production — from farmers moving inputs and produce, to mining companies moving ores — requires roads that are fit for the purpose.
They are easily complemented by rail infrastructure. Zimbabwe has begun addressing this key duality.
Needless to point out, in the vision outlined by President Mnangagwa and the work in progress that Zimbabwe is, the country will need rail and roads because they are within the realm of dusty, hand-dirtying work that will lift Zimbabwe from the nadir of the sanctions decades.
We will not need trains for luxury — the luxury that is still beyond us.
More comprehensively Zimbabwe will, apart from addressing the transport infrastructure, have to work on other economic enablers such as energy and power development, water infrastructure, information communication technology, capacity building in industry and so on.
It has to be holistic.
What this tells us is that President Mnangagwa and his Government are looking well beyond July 30, when the country holds elections.
It will be crucial to watch as, is widely expected that he wins in a fortnight, the new ED administration get its hands dirtier and do the work that is at hand.