Game Changers Bay

Challenging Power

On the 25th of September 2015, the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted at the United Nations world summit, setting out an ambitious and transformational action plan for people, planet and prosperity. As such many countries and actors urgently and fundamentally requires realigning their development pathways post 2015 era. The opportunity for us as a people and young people in particular is that a global development transition is taking place and should be capitalized on. To be able to deliver on the historic sustainable development goals, an ambitious strategy that unites fragmented efforts anchored on young people as equal partners and drivers with the ability to convene stakeholders from community, national and international level will be critical for a proper implementation of the SDGs. It is this that informs our third edition's theme and topic, ‘Challenging Power’. Can SDGs be achieved within the context of business as usual? How then do we challenge power in a world where the rhetoric of ‘us and them’ seem to further divide our societies? What role can young people, non-state actors and state actors play in shaping an inclusive society?

Zimbabwe’s Informal Economy: Changing the terms for the conversation and engagement. Is Popular Self-Organized Economy the New Economy?

The informal economy is diverse and complex, at least 80% 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. Research into the informal economy is voluminous and nuanced for different contexts. However, comparatively little differentiated research is publicly available on the Zimbabwean context. Interest in the dynamics of the informal economy in Zimbabwe is progressively growing and maintaining a youth perspective is an important priority for Zimbabwe for different practical reasons. 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.

Topic: EU/Africa Relations – Skills for the future

At one historical point, Zimbabwe’s skills set was touted as anchored on the ethos of hard work, honesty and quality of delivery. The fact that, education’s role in Zimbabwean economy has undergone a relative decline in the face of multifaceted crises including that of unemployment and underemployment means that, Zimbabwe could usefully pause to examine its national strategies vis-à-vis the future of work, skills needed for the future and within the global narrative. In this debate, we pause to reflect on EU-Africa relation locating the role and contribution of Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe an Opportunity

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?