The Zambian Enterprise came out close to near bottom of the Global Competitive Index for the period 2007 – 2008. In this year’s report to be released on October 31, 2007, Zambia is ranked 117 out of the 128 countries evaluated for the period.
The World Economic Forum, which compiles the report, is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas.
The Report will include The Global Competitiveness Index featuring the 12 pillars of competitiveness, The Business Competitiveness Index, detailed country profiles and data tables covering more than 100 social and economic indicators.
The rankings are drawn from a combination of publicly available hard data and the results of the Executive Opinion Survey, a comprehensive annual survey conducted by the World Economic Forum together with its network of Partner Institutes (leading research institutes and business organizations) in the countries covered by the Report.
This year, over 11,000 business leaders were polled in a record 131 economies worldwide. We wonder whether Zambia sent any of our business and or political leaders to this forum to represent our enterprise and make sure we were adequately represented.
That aside, human inclination tends to dispel such a poor overall performance by stating that Zambia needed to be given a fair stake in the matter considering all the purported strides since made on the economic front. Well, for Africa alone for instance, Zambia does not even appear in the top 10 most competitive countries for crying out aloud.
|Rankings For Africa – 2007|
It is worth mentioning here that our own analyses at the Zambian Chronicle have always been in line with the World Economic Forum’s assessments. We have been in the forefront on advising our Zambian Franchise that we have a great deal of competition around us.
In Zambia we tend to over-dramatize issues; beating ourselves on the chest if you like. We beat our own drums without taking into account other externalities that really matter. It is this kind of myopic prescience that usually leaves us hanging when actual results are brought to bear.
You cannot set your own standards as a country and want the world the judge you by those when the entire globe uses a different set of scenarios, such as ISO 9001.
For instance, around the world, productivity is a real measure of competitiveness and competitiveness leads to prosperity. As Jennifer Blanke, Senior Economist at the World Economic Forum explains in the video below, there are institutions, factors and policies that are required to be in place for a nation to be competitive. For the period under review, twelve pillars were used and only nine could relate to the Zambian Enterprise. To make matters worse, those that could relate painted a very sad picture in terms of scores.
The first four pillars were classified under basic requirements and they included institutions required for normal business practices and we were ranked 56 out of 128 (perhaps one of our best in overall grading).
The next pillar was infrastructure and we were ranked 90; third pillar was macroeconomics and we came out 122 (imagine that) while the fourth pillar in this category was health and primary education in which we came out as 118 (remember our article about how spending on education was pathetic?).
In the efficiency enhancer, category three pillars were under consideration and they included the fifth pillar, which was higher education, and training and we came out 120; the sixth pillar of market efficiency earned us 86 and the seventh pillar of technological readiness we came out at 96. The last category we participated in was innovation enhancers, in which we actually came out to be at the bottom of the barrel. The eighth pillar was business sophistication and we had 128 out of 128 meaning we were the worst in the world. The ninth pillar is actually innovation; we came out 121 out of 128.
It is no wonder we are always asking others to come and develop Zambia on our behalf. The fact of the matter is, Zambia shall be developed by the Zambians for the Zambian but our current crop of politicians seems to denigrate Zambian ingenuity always looking outside for others to come and take the lead.
The thumper mentality needs to end, the business of beating our own drums needs to end, the beating of ourselves on the chest needs to end and our state of mind needs to change if we have to play in the big league.
Let us for a change focus on what our institutions, our factors of production and our policies are before we can look elsewhere.
Let us for a change use our debt-repayment savings and invest those into our children by providing quality education at all levels, providing exemplary health care for all our citizenry, and investing in our technological areas that encourage local innovation; that’s this week’s memo from us at the Zambian Chronicle … thanks a trillion.
Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.
CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle
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