By Felex Share
President Mnangagwa has established a 26-member Presidential Advisory Council (PAC) to advise and assist him in formulating key economic policies and strategies that advance Vision 2030. Vision 2030 entails making Zimbabwe an upper middle-income country with gross national income (GNI) per capita of between $3,896 and $12,055, according to the World Bank's technical calculations, implying high standards of living for citizens. (Click here to view full list)
The advisory council comprises experts and leaders drawn from diverse sectors like business, health and social protection, agriculture, governance and human rights, faith-based organisations, tourism, education, minorities, ICT, civic society, communication and media management.
Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda yesterday said the council will act as the President's "sounding board" on key economic reforms, issues and initiatives.
This, he said, was in line with the "Zimbabwe is open for business" mantra and the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (STP).
"It will be recalled that Vision 2030 is predicated on attracting domestic and foreign direct investment and on transforming Zimbabwe into a business-friendly investment destination with a stable and supportive macro-economic environment," said Dr Sibanda.
"His Excellency the President and his Government will need well-canvassed ideas, proposals and strategies to realise the vision."
Dr Sibanda said the PAC, which is voluntary and serves at the pleasure of the President, has 17 terms of reference.
He said from time-to-time, the advisory council should help with a comprehensive situational analysis on the state of the economy and investment climate in the country.
"(It is supposed) to proffer ideas and suggestions on key reforms and measures needed to improve the investment and business climate in the country for economic recovery and growth," he said.
"It must contribute towards policies and measures, short medium and long term, for the growth of the economy. On the strength of the country's resources, to suggest best strategies for leveraging them to best national advantage; to advise and develop strategies for making Zimbabwe a modern, industrialised and food-secure, higher middle income by 2030; to input into policies and strategies for inclusive and balanced growth in line with the policy on decentralisation and devolution and to advise on the integration of science, technology, research and innovation in the economy."
Dr Sibanda said the advisory council should provide infrastructural strategies and investments meant to transform the country into a land-linked regional logistical and trading hub.
"The PAC should also advise on developing sector by sector strategic value-chains for the economy which are linked to international markets," he said.
"It is supposed to advise on national energy development strategy which makes Zimbabwe competitive; to suggest blue prints for regulatory frameworks and institutions for a modern, market-driven, business-friendly economy; to advise on strategies for building strong and gainful global partnerships as well as maximising on Zimbabwe's bilateral and multilateral relations and to proffer ideas of building a Sovereign Wealth Fund and to ensure that national growth and development strategies are built on environmental safeguards for future generations."
Dr Sibanda said the advisory council was mandated with organising interactions between the President, local and international businesses.
On rules of engagement, Dr Sibanda said the PAC should have quarterly brainstorming or feedback meetings with the President and ad hoc meetings as and when necessary.
He said the advisory council, which should be non-partisan, must proffer honest and sincere advise, declaring own interests whenever necessary.
"The Presidential Advisory Council should respect rules of confidentiality and trust and refrain from abusing proximity for unlawful and unethical ends. Members should ensure that all advisory content generated and produced by PAC are a property of His Excellency the President who assumes automatic copy right," said Dr Sibanda.
He said PAC members will hold office for the duration of the President's term in office.
"The President will chair PAC meetings which are also attended by his Vice Presidents and by any other invitees, including ministers and officials," he said.
"PAC may, with the concurrence of the President, invite experts for presentations. PAC will be serviced by a Secretariat which is based in the Office of the President and Cabinet."
He said Government will fund operations of the advisory council with members drawing some honorarium although the expectation is that their services are voluntary.
PAC members include Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries immediate past president Mr Busisa Moyo, former Delta chief executive Mr Joe Mutizwa, Sakunda Holdings chief executive owner Mr Kudakwashe Tagwirei and Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) president Divine Ndhlukula (business); economist and banker Zondo Sakala, Agribank chief executive Mr Somkhosi Malaba and Africa Next chief executive Mr Lewis Musasike (financial services); Dr Norbert Mugwagwa and physician Dr Godfrey Sikipa (health and social protection); Remigius Makumbe, Simbarashe Mangwende (infrastructure).
Other members are Dr Lindiwe Sibanda (agriculture); Natalie Jabangwe (ICT); Mr Aenias Chuma, Ms Elisa Ravengai, seasoned lawyer Mr Edwin Manikai (governance and human rights); Professors Kuzvinetsa Dzvimbo and Robson Mafoti (education).
The tourism sector will be represented by renowned businessman Mr Herbert Nkala while the communication and media management will be represented by AMH owner Trevor Ncube.
The civic society will be represented by Janah Ncube while Dr Shingi Munyeza and Zimbabwe Council of Churches secretary general Dr Kenneth Mtata will stand for faith based organisations.
The minorities will be represented by CABS managing director Mr Simon Hammond and CBZ Holdings chairman Mr Richard Wilde.
PAC coordination will be done Mr Mfaro Moyo, who brings experience from Government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).