18 August 2017

Zimbabwe: Employers to Hold Congress

Photo: Jerry Chifamba/AllAfrica
Harare CBD.

The Employers' Confederation of Zimbabwe (Emcoz) will hold its annual congress next month in Victoria Falls which will be focussed on rethinking the future economic trajectory of the country and embracing the future of work to reclaim regional economic leadership, businessdigest has established.

Employers meet at a time the economy is in the doldrums characterised by a debilitating liquidity crunch, an acute cash shortage, declining foreign direct investment, company closures and substantive job losses.

Emcoz executive director John Mufukare told businessdigest on Wednesday that it is critical for the congress, which be held from the 13th to the 16th of September, to stratigise ways to remain viable in the tough economic environment.

"Thought leadership is critical for survival. The futility of playing 'Catch - Up' is that those you are following are already moving faster than you are," Mufukare said. "Our only hope is to out-think the competition and get them to play catch-up."

He said industry had to come-up with ways to be innovative rather than depend on protectionist measures to survive.

"The choice is stark. Do we spend scarce available resources on resuscitating existing industrial capacity protected from competition through legislation in the vain hope that they will eventually become competitive? We have already tried this in the Distressed Industries and Marginalised Areas Fund (DIMAF) and the results were less-than-promising," Mufukare pointed out. "Or do we anticipate the future and boldly go forward to establish a competitive advantage before the others catch up?"

He said the congress will discuss the best way forward which he said includes going green and digital.

"The future is green. The eras of coal and petroleum as energy sources are effectively over as the cost of renewable energy continues to drop and environmental awareness increases. Smoke-belching primary production is rapidly giving way as governments weigh the cost to national health and the environment," He said the congress will focus on how to harness the rapid rise in the use of digital gadgets at a time when the use of technology is becoming more ubiquitous in doing business.

"The biggest multi-national enterprises in the world are no longer brick, mortar and machinery but computer software such as Microsoft, Google and Uber,"

Among those expected to attend the conference, Mufukare said, are Labour minister Prisca Mupfumira, Industry minister Mike Bimha and Tourism minister Walter Mzembi.

The congress will be held under the theme "Embracing The Future of Work To Reclaim Economic Leadership."

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