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Economic Aspects | Natural Resource Aspects | Institutional Aspects | Social Aspects | Zimbabwe

ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN ZIMBABWE

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INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

No information available.

This information was provided by the Government of Zimbabwe to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: November 1997.

For information on the economic system in Zimbabwe, click here.

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TRADE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies

The national forum which addresses trade related issues is the Trade Economic Relations Committee, chaired by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. Membership in the committee includes both the Government and the Private Sector.

Decision-MakingLegislation and Regulations

No information available.

Decision-MakingStrategies, Policies and Plans

No information available.

Decision-MakingMajor Groups involvement

These include the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe; the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries; the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce; the Indigenous Business Development Cooperation; the Indigenous Women's Business Organization; and the Affirmative Action Group.

Programmes and Projects

Zimbabwe supports the CSD's programme of action to ensure that trade and environment are mutually supportive but would welcome international support to ensure that the realization of that goal does not impose added trade barriers to goods from developing countries.

Status

Zimbabwe adopted trade liberalization as one of the objectives of its Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP), which started in 1991. Under this programme, the country almost completely liberalized its foreign currency controls, introduced tariff regimes which balance local production and imports in order to achieve efficient domestic production, while discouraging dumping.

Also in the context of ESAP, legislation aimed at establishing export processing zones was passed. The main aim is to encourage small and medium entrepreneurs to break into the export market by providing them with training opportunities in management, quality production, and marketing strategies, among others, and by establishing links with big companies. Companies are also encouraged to attain ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 status. Inward looking and inefficient import substitution, which was the order of the day before independence, is now discouraged through exposure to international competition, education through international trade fairs, and modernization of production equipment.

Challenges

No information available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising

No information available.

Information

At present Zimbabwe has no adequate institutionalized information system on trade and environment, especially information on environmental restrictions on export products. The lack of such information acts as a non-tariff barrier to potential exporters. While Zimbabwe is a signatory to WTO and most of the ILO Conventions, it does not subscribe to the wholesale use of trade sanctions as a mechanism to enforce environmental policies, since this may actually turn out to be a non-tariff barrier.

Research and Technologies

No information available.

Financing

Trade promotion in Zimbabwe is mainly a private sector responsibility, and the Government allocates a small budget for trade promotion.

Cooperation

Zimbabwe is a member of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

It is a party to the CITES Convention on Trade in Endangered Species and hosted the COP 10 in June 1997, and a beneficiary of the Lome Conventions. It is also a member of the Southern Africa Power Pool, a programme to promote cooperation in power production in order to conserve energy at the regional level. Other cooperation at the regional level takes place through SADC, PTA and COMESA.

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This information was provided by the Government of Zimbabwe to the 5th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: November 1997.

For information on the economic system in Zimbabwe, click here.

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CHANGING CONSUMPTION PATTERNS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies

The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe, the Food and Food Standards Board, under the Ministry of Health, and the Drug Control Council are responsible for decision-making in this area.

Decision-MakingLegislation and Regulations

The focus of the Government is to improve the quality of life for the majority of the people through poverty alleviation strategies . Zimbabwe supports the objectives of Agenda 21, particularly those aimed at changing production and consumption patterns and eradicating poverty. In addition, Zimbabwe has programmes in place to protect consumers from bad products. The Food and Food Standards Act compels local producers to comply with the labelling requirements which give consumers enough information to make decisions. The Drug Control Council sets standards for both locally produced and imported drugs.

Decision-MakingStrategies, Policies and Plans

No information available.

Decision-MakingMajor Groups involvement

No information available.

Programmes and Projects

No information available.

Status

Zimbabwe's current consumption patterns are very low. A large portion of the population lacks basic nutrition.

Challenges

No information available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising

The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe has consumer awareness campaigns on both print and electronic media. It prints approximately 130 columns per month in national newspapers, magazines, etc.

Information

No information available.

Research and Technologies

No information available.

Financing

No information available.

Cooperation

Zimbabwe is a signatory to the Rio Declaration and endorses Agenda 21, which encourages countries, particularly developed countries, to curb unsustainable consumption patterns which have caused environmental degradation and poverty. Through the Commission on Sustainable Development, Zimbabwe hopes to effectively participate in poverty alleviation and changing unsustainable consumption patterns.

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This information was provided by the Government of Zimbabwe to the 5th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: November 1997.

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FINANCING

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies

No information available.

Decision-MakingLegislation and Regulations

No information available.

Decision-MakingStrategies, Policies and Plans

The following economic instruments have been introduced:

  1. Through ESAP, a line of credit, retooling and retrofitting have been introduced;
  2. Vision 2020 has introduced the concept of green taxes;
  3. ISO 9 000 and ISO 14 000 have imposed some trade restrictions on timber exports.

Subsidies have been eliminated on some farm inputs and on electricity. Proper pricing of fossil fuels have made alternative fuels more competitive. Water pricing is still a problem.

Decision-MakingMajor Groups involvement

No information available.

Programmes and Projects

No information available.

Status

Official development assistance to Zimbabwe is normally below 10% of the GDP, with the exception being the year of drought, when it rose to 15% of GDP. External capital flows, both ODA and FDI, have increased since the Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP). However, while FDI funding has been flowing into private sector projects, such as mining, manufacturing, tourism and construction, ODA funding has been financing mainly public sector projects. Although aid to Zimbabwe is limited, it has some negative effects on the development process due to the unpredictability of disbursements.

Challenges

No information available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising

Development assistance has had positive impacts on the economy, particularly in capacity building and infrastructure development.

Information

No information available.

Research and Technologies

No information available.

Financing

The Government has budgetary allocations to respond to Agenda 21, with the largest part of the budget going to the improvement of social services. At present social expenditure in health and education alone account for over 20% of the budget. The budget of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, which is being reviewed so the Ministry can effectively implement Agenda 21 initiatives, shows commitment on the part of Government.

Cooperation

Donor coordination has been improving in Zimbabwe as a result of the formation of a Consultative Group (CG) between donors and the government coordinated by the UNDP. To date, the UNDP has made a strong financial commitment towards the implementation of agenda 21 initiatives.

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This information was provided by the Government of Zimbabwe to the 5th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: November 1997.

For information on participating States in the Global Environment Facility, click here:

For information about issues and projects in Africa from the World Bank, click here:

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TECHNOLOGY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies

No information available.

Decision-MakingLegislation and Regulations

No information available.

Decision-MakingStrategies, Policies and Plans

There is a need for government- induced policies to stimulate rapid technological development and acquisition. To be effective such policies must be comprehensive and address all functional sectors of society. In most countries, including Zimbabwe, incentives for technological development have often been implicit and mediated through investment incentives for industry. They have so far favored the inflow of large scale capital-intensive investments with little consideration for technological development. In the national environmental assessment policy there is no consideration for the need to assess technologies. Studies have shown that countries which develop a strong internal capacity to search out and evaluate technologies are usually able to acquire the technologies on satisfactory terms.

Decision-MakingMajor Groups involvement

No information available.

Programmes and Projects

No information available.

Status

In the 1970s technology transfer was seen as a potential threat to the environment, therefore requiring regulation and control. In the 1990s, and particularly with the impetus from "Our Common Future" as well as the results of UNCED, technology transfer is now seen as a source of opportunities for promoting sustainable development. The challenge is for governments to move from the traditional control of technology to new approaches of technology assessments. This transition towards environmentally sound technology is now being mediated mainly through research and development.

Challenges

The level of technological development is low; it is consequently more prone to technological dependence. The low rate of technological change implies a sluggish transition towards the use of environmentally sound technologies. Problems are created by declining import capacity due to the economic crisis and the decline in foreign investment.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising

No information available.

Information

In Zimbabwe, the Scientific and Industrial Research Development Center (SIRDC) has for a number of years been operating a Technological Information Promotion System (TIPS), as part of an international network dealing with trade, technology, and investment opportunities. The objective of this information system is to facilitate the exchange of information about technologies developed or available for use in the various sectors of the economy, at a regional and local level. The information system was established following the convening of two UN Conferences on Science and Technology, held in 1978 and 1979, where the need to create markets for technologies developed in developing countries and promote technology transfer was emphasized. The TIPs framework has expanded from 9 countries (1986-1988) to more than 30 national bureaux, and Zimbabwe has remained a key participant. At the national level, TIPs offers a bulletin board system which permits local industries to consult the database and download information with a local phone call. TIPS also has a homepage in the World Wide Web, which offers information on the TIPs network and its services. There are no technology restrictions on what can be ordered into the country or standards that must be adhered to.

Research and Technologies

A notable institutional development in Zimbabwe has been the creation of SIRDC and its seven constituent institutes, namely: the Biotechnology Research Institute; the Building Technology Institute; the Energy and Technology Institute; the Environment and Remote Sensing Institute; the Mechanical and Production Engineering Institute; the Microelectronics and Electronics institute; and the National Meteorology Institute. The mission of SIRDC, through these various institutes, is to provide a center of excellence in research for the provision of science and technology leadership to the industrial sectors.

The Cleaner Production Center and the Ozone Office are an opportunity for the transfer of environmentally sound technologies. Another opportunity is through the programme on Activities Implemented Jointly (AIJ), which is still under discussion between government and the private sector. There is a lot of scope for improvement in the transfer of environmentally sound technology, particularly from developed countries.

Financing

No information available.

Cooperation

No information available.

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This information was provided by the Government of Zimbabwe to the 5th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: November 1997.

BIOTECHNOLOGY

Decision-Making

No information available

Programmes and Projects

Projects which are currently under implementation include the following: maize improvement research project; cotton improvement research project; sweet potato micro-propagation research project; sweet sorghum utilization project; fermentation technology for indigenous foods; biosafety project; and forestry biotechnology research project. There are other projects still in the proposal stage.

Status

No information available.

Challenges

No information available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising

Capacity-building efforts have been concentrated on infrastructure development. The government has committed some funding for building office blocks and state-of-the-art laboratories and providing equipment to facilitate research activities. Scientific and technical staff are being trained in various specialized areas through a staff development programme.

Information

No information available.

Research and Technologies

Zimbabwe has demonstrated its commitment to the sound management of biotechnology by investing in the establishment of a Biotechnology Research Institute (BRI) as part of the newly established Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Center (SIRDC). The BRI promotes the growth of national programmes in biotechnology research and strengthens the educational and manpower development needs of the country. To this end, the BRI presented a mission statement in May 1996 to the Research Council of Zimbabwe.  The Institute carries out research in the following core areas: basic molecular biotechnology; agricultural biotechnology; medical biotechnology; industrial biotechnology; and environmental biotechnology.

Financing

No information available.

Cooperation

Under environmental biotechnology, issues regarding biosafety and environmentally sound management of biotechnology are considered. The Biotechnology Research Institute offers special services on biosafety issues to the southern Africa sub-region by drafting and implementing guidelines and regulations and providing technical assistance in environmental protection, risk assessment and risk management. The institute also offers services in genetic resources and biodiversity conservation and acts as a watchdog against bioprospecting, biopiracy, and intellectual property loss, both at the national and sub-regional levels. Each country in the sub-region is expected to form a national biosafety committee which Zimbabwe has already done.

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This information was provided by the Government of Zimbabwe to the 5th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: November 1997.

Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.

Click here to go to the Web Site of UNEP's International Register on Biosafety.

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INDUSTRY

No information available.

This information was provided by the Government of Zimbabwe to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: November 1997.

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TRANSPORT

No information available.

This information was provided by the Government of Zimbabwe to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: November 1997.

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SUSTAINABLE TOURISM

No information available.

This information was provided by the Government of Zimbabwe to the 5th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: November 1997.

For information on tourism in Zimbabwe, click here.

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