Sunday, March 30, 2008

Zimbabwe's 2008 Election, A Time to Change the Mindset

Zimbabwe was at the polls this last Saturday, a country infamous for rapid inflation, a president who believes in magic, a despot, a nihilistic government, obviously the people of Zimbabwe want change, nobody in their right mind wants to starve especially if that starvation is caused by the government that says it cares. Reminds one of lyrics from Bob Marley, “how can you be sitting there, saying that you care, when everywhere I look around the people suffer and suffer in everyway” well Mugabe says he cares but the people suffer and suffer in everyway.

Well change is what the people want, but looking at the BBC website one can only hope that people know and understand what must be done. Looking at this fantastic invention/ improvement of the microchip, these American inventors by making the microchip flexible means the use of the micro chip will extend into areas previously unimagined. It is not the microchip that is relevant to Zimbabwe, but the mind set. Will Zimbabwe at last begin to respect knowledge. The past governments had utterly no respect for knowledge.

Respecting knowledge will allow Zimbabwe to contribute its fair share of the ever increasingly globalized world. We are slowly but surely becoming a one world, a one humanity, and there is nothing wrong with that, done properly there is no threat to culture. For humanity to succeed without any conflicts all must contribute as much as they can and the greatest comparative advantage is the mind. Is Zimbabwe ready to contribute to the global stage, contribute knowledge, I prefer the word contribute rather than competition because if we are one humanity must we compete and eat each other. A competition means we go on as before, we do not accept the best but accept phenomenon according to race, ethnicity or merely friendship.

To contribute any society, in this particular case the Zimbabwean society must gear its institutions towards knowledge. Take for example the United Kingdom, by the year 2010, the UK is expected to spend six billion pounds on science, keeping facilities running, these are government departments without counting the aerospace programs, defense research, the private sector etc. True Zimbabwe can not afford this, but it must stabilize the downward spiral, create the structures and take knowledge in all spheres including the arts more seriously.

Zimbabwe is having a fresh start, one must not kid themselves there is nothing in Zimbabwe, there are no taxes as such, cut the tax rate to a flat 10%, get rid of all import duties from any country be it South Africa or Belgium, there is nothing to protect in Zimbabwe, and zero taxes for any new product developed by Zimbabweans for a period of 5 years, this will encourage people to think and try to invent and patent products. Maybe somebody will invent a new type of microchip, they should be encouraged, or a hygienic water cleansing system.

Zimbabwe can surely contribute more than minerals and maize, but thy must first believe they can contribute more, the government must believe in Zimbabweans. The true comparative advantage it must be remembered is the mind, who ever tells otherwise is deceitful.

Bhekuzulu Khumalo

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Bhekuzulu Khumalo

I write about knowledge economics, information, liberty, and freedom