ru.dhobbie.jpgBy Rugare Dhobbie

 

Zimbabwe stands to draw a number of economic lessons from the Indian experience which can help turn around the country’s fortunes.
In Shona language we say ‘Kudzidza kuona zvavamwe’, literally translated ‘we learn by observing others’.

This was the case with the seven-day visit to India by Vice President Joice Mujuru and her delegation.

During the visit, the Vice President had the opportunity to address the 8th India Africa Conclave where Zimbabwe was under the spotlight.

The conclave emphasised the need for Africa and India to stand together in the new world economic order where previously disadvantaged countries are now coming to the fore as emerging economic giants.

India has put up US$5 billion to assist Indian companies willing to invest in Africa.

In this respect, Zimbabwe companies need to take advantage of this opportunity by partnering Indian companies that manufacture products required by the country to facilitate economic growth.

Zimbabwean delegates to the India-Africa summit said the event was important for Zimbabwe hence the need to make follow-ups with concrete action by relevant government departments.

During and after the summit, Vice President Mujuru had the opportunity to meet with political and business leaders in India who emphasised that for Zimbabwe to move ahead, it needs to take advantage of its political and economic ties with India.

On the political front, she met with the Indian Prime Minister and Vice President during which the leaders concurred that there is need to leverage on the shared colonial history of the two countries by scaling up co-operation in the political, social and economic spheres.

The two Indian leaders said as a former British Colony, they have managed to turn around their economy to become one of the emerging economic giants in the world and Zimbabwe can learn from such an experience.

Vice President Mujuru also met the Indian Minister of Commerce, Trade and Textile, Mr Pradeep Sharma who expressed concern at the slow pace at which Zimbabwe was lobbying for investment.

Mr Sharma said as a developing nation, Zimbabwe needed to be more aggressive in its approach.

The Vice President also met with a number of businessmen who are interested in investing in Zimbabwe.

Key among the investors were the Kirloskar Brothers and state-owned engineering conglomerates like BEML and HMT Ltd.

At Kirloskar Brothers, own a leading pump manufacturing company.

The Zimbabwean delegation learnt that Zimbabwe can benefit more through the acquisition of large pumps that have the capacity to irrigate vast agricultural land especially in the rural areas.

Kirloskar Brothers have pioneered a project where they use four pumps to provide water to 450 square kilometres of farm land in rural India.

The delegation also had the opportunity to see solar powered pumps which are invaluable in Zimbabwe with its abundant sunlight and frequent power outages.