How the nature of work is changing in the Zimbabwean context.

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1. Changing Nature of work in Zimbabwe. AND HOW THE GOVERNMENT CAN PREPARE AND SUPPORT THE WORKFORCE 2. Zimbabwe Economic Landscape Background Zimbabwe is predominantly…
  • 2. Zimbabwe Economic Landscape Background Zimbabwe is predominantly agro-based with over 80% of the farmers being subsistence farmers. The second largest sector is the mining sector with about 30% share in the Zimbabwean economy. Approximately 98% of the Zimbabwean labor force is in the informal sector. The country is battling 90% unemployment rates and is in hyperinflation such that the inflation statistics have been frozen from publication until further notice.
  • 3. Zimbabwe nature of work in the 90’s The table below shows the distribution of formal employment by sector during the selected period.
  • 4. It can be seen from the trend there that in 1980 when Zimbabwe attained Independence, the strongest contributors to employment in Zimbabwe were Agriculture, Manufacturing and Mining. There is however a general decrease in employment across all sectors until 2014 and all the way to 2019 though not covered in the table. To date the formal unemployment rate has ballooned and only about 5% of the workforce supports government activities in maintaining Healthcare, Food security and trade. The 5% active formally employed suffer from very high taxation as the government tries to sustain the economy with the taxation of this little population. The informal sector isn’t directly taxed and hence create a massive loophole for externalization and tax evasion. The hyper-inflationary period has also given rise to multi-millionaires who are not paying taxes and responsible for crippling the economy further due to corruption.
  • 7. Technology and Nature of work in Zimbabwe Zimbabwe is one country that has broken the inflation record until inflation is no longer measurable. There is total darkness in the country with household and businesses spending close to 12 hours per day without electricity. With this background alone, technology can not exist without power as everything is nearly electronic. Zimbabwe can't think of Artificial Intelligence in its current state until power is restored to normalcy. But is this a deterrent? …….. The Zimbabweans are very tech-savvy people who are very flexible to whatever their government presents and will always float above the water through other means.
  • 8. General Trends: Agriculture & Mining Though previously Zimbabwe enjoyed a fair share of commercial farming and subsistence, in some crop types the production is going down whilst increasing in some, for instance maize production is dwindling whilst Tobacco production is increasing. Most of Zimbabwe’s food imports come from neighboring countries including Botswana, Zambia, South Africa and Mozambique. Therefore the 4th industrial revolution where some roles will become redundant from automation is something to worry about in a more economically stable Zimbabwe, when the Economy is right and Foreign Currency is available. However, presently, though to a minor impact, the effect of automation is Agriculture is being experienced.
  • 9. The biggest threat in Agriculture will be automated tractors and automated combined harvesters which will take over the tasks conducted by people. in some farms, their effect is already being witnessed. In mining the biggest threat will come from unattended mining plant and machinery which are operated by robots. These are already in operation in some mines in Zimbabwe. Some job positions like boom gates at the mines are also now automated rendering some people jobless.
  • 10. Main obstacles to addressing joblessness arising from automation. Lack of Infrastructure to expand and develop more jobs that will not be replaced by machines. Lack of funding of Incubation hubs and innovation centers which encourage innovation and resultant creation of more jobs. Lack of skills within the Governance bodies and decision makers to promote the investment in Technological development and promotion.
  • 11. Solution Tap into the youth and capitalize on their inquisitiveness and creativity to influence current and future workflows in the workplace. Human Capital investment starting from birth until 5 years to curb stunting. Training and skills development through vocational training centres to address direct labor force requirements.
  • 12. Challenges FUNDING: The solution maybe expensive to implement due to the large investment in infrastructure development and sustainability. Resistance to change from policy makers. Resistance to upskilling from existing work force.
  • 13. Reasons why Government, Private sector and other stakeholders would want to participate Automation will reduce the cost of doing business whilst improving quality and profitability Globalization : the sectors would need to be globally competitive and allow for seamless global information interchange hence the reason why they would want to participate.
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