This coming Friday – 15th September 2017, at the Harare Gardens (behind the National Gallery of Zimbabwe) theSpace 3rd edition will once again offer the nation a chance to pause for a much needed reflection on the urgency with which our generation finds its self. Themed Challenging Power, the annual convening will bring together young leaders, experts, businesses, government, academia and decision makers to posit solutions to currently global challenges within which Zimbabwe is located. The urgency within which we find ourselves at this defining historical moment will in part be responded to by these four topics which you should be part of,
- Skills for the future: For the youthful generation, this is the biggest challenge – less talked about. The last skills audit for Zimbabwe was done in the late 1980s, the advent of automation in particular and the fourth industrial revolution means that Zimbabwe can frame a future fit for Zimbabwe and a Zimbabwe fit for the future by forging and skilling a generation able and willing to contribute to a national cause.
- Zimbabwe’s Informal Economy: Is Popular Self-Organized Economy the New Economy? : The informal economy is diverse and complex, at least 80% to 94% of Zimbabweans participate in one form or the other in this ‘economy’. The concept of informal economy itself does not have a unitary construct, some studies focus on informal sector, informal employment, informal firms, informal entrepreneurship to name a few. We are also clear that, the informal economy will not be totally wiped off the face of Zimbabwean reality; rather we postulate that reversing its ratio to the ‘formal’ economy should help reshape and redefine the State-Citizen-Economy relationship. This debate will among three key areas unpack the meaning and implications of a dominant ‘informal economy’; its players, activities and its intersection with young people; proffer policy options for interrogating ‘formalization’/ transitioning without persecution. The second tier of the debate will look at the role and function of the State, and its institutional influence in allocating entrepreneurial resources between the informal and formal spheres of the economy.
- Challenging Power: In case you have not had the privilege of meeting Dr. Tawanda Mutasah, we think and strongly suggest that you make a date for this conversation. In modest terms, we challenge and entrench power every day. Sometimes we do not even know that we are doing either. If there is an iota of hope that convinces us of the urgency of the point in history that we find ourselves in today, then this conversation will allow us to re-shape the trajectory of our collective future through sharing knowledge and tools that would allow for social and economic transformation as envisioned in declarations (including the Sustainable Development Goals). This intergenerational debate will unpack the meaning of power, its emerging forms and rhetoric such as the ‘them and us’ narratives, the role and function of social and societal institutions.
- Zimbabwe-an Opportunity: This is a motion based debate. In 2013, Zimbabwe found itself in a place of excitement and optimism. One located within the whims of re-defining the course of human destination born out of the euphoria associated with the adoption of a new constitution. The energy and vibrancy of Zimbabwe epitomized by its young people, women, men and the diaspora make a strong case for the country’s trajectory. To fully realize and harness Zimbabwe’s potential, what steps should young people, business, diaspora and the international community take. The debate poses fundamental questions around strategic choices we need to make for our country. It seeks first and foremost to ascertain whether we see the same problems or challenges and aspire to the same future. How do we comprehend our location and probable role within the global village in general and our continent of Africa in particular? Have we taken enough steps to become investor friendly (both at domestic and foreign) this implies questions around the state of our infrastructure. Is our glass half full or half empty? This house believes that Zimbabwe is indeed an opportunity.