Young leaders future of Zimbabwean economy

Four diverse workers and black team leader business owner gathered in boardroom during briefing in modern office. African businessmen make startup presentation or business plan for client or investor

Today’s influential young business and corporate leaders are the future of the economy and should be factored in the broader economic plan, says Institute of Corporate Directors Zimbabwe (ICDZ) acting executive director Dr Proctor Nyemba.

Dr Nyemba’s remarks come in the wake of the announcement of Zimbabwe’s top 40 influential leaders under 40.

“The Institute’s hope is for the Government to continue engaging young leaders as regards Vision 2030. Currently, there is a lot of talk of financial devolution; as ICDZ we are saying enterprises should be spread out across the country. That means, for instance, that young business leaders should have that support to expand their enterprises countrywide,” explained Dr Nyemba.

“At personal level, we are also encouraging them (young corporate leaders) to have a strong appreciation of corporate governance issues. In this regard, the Institute is currently trying to engage universities such that people who have influence but perhaps lack requisite knowledge, can get access to relevant training so that they become a good tool kit for this economy going forward.”

It is generally agreed that young people can play a vital role in a country’s economic development to the extent that they are active participants.

For instance, the United Nations (UN) has long recognised that young people are “a major human resource for development and key agents for social change, economic growth and technological innovation”.

With regards to this year’s ICDZ 40 influential young leaders under 40 list, Nash Paints (Pvt) Limited founder and chairman Tinashe Mutarisi (40) came in first place, followed closely by Ecocash chief executive Natalie Jabangwe (38) and Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce chief executive Christopher Mugaga (40). Java Studio founder Passion Java (32) came in fourth.

The Second Republic’s appreciation of young leaders was also highlighted with ICT, Postal and Courier Services Minister Jenfan Muswere (39) coming in fifth place. Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement permanent secretary Dr John Basera (34) and Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe head of consumer affairs and publicity Dr George Manyanya (37), and Zimbabwe Tourism Authority director of communications Godfrey Koti (36) also flew the public sector’s flag.

Businessman Rinos Mautsa (36), founder of Picco Construction and the Chartered Institute of Customer Management also made it to this year’s list.

Other young leaders were drawn from business, civil society, sports and entertainment segments.

Dr Nyemba said the final list was compiled from a final assessment of a group of 100 applicants, which had been whittled down from over 300 initial applications.

“The reason why we came up with the list is that we wanted to give feedback to the economy, to say who are the youngest influential leaders. Even if you look at the global landscape, young people are increasingly becoming more influential in business,” he said.