Analysis: JOSHUA BANDA
EVERY year, themes are coined to pick the appropriate situation under which trade shows and international trade exhibitions are held.On June 28, 2018, the President of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi, officially opened the 54th Zambia International Trade Fair to the public.
The theme for this year was “Private sector key to industrialisation”.
The private sector can take up the role and responsibility of establishing enterprises that would manufacture and recycle products such as paper, plastic, glass and organic materials.
The nation has an enabling environment that would cushion joint ventures and foreign direct investments.
Put simply, industrialisation may be likened to doing more with less. This means that instead of one man ploughing a big field with just one pair of oxen, a tractor can be used to plough extensively within a very short period of time and free up time to do other things.
Transformation of the economy from the primary level to manufacturing requires the involvement of every stakeholder, the private sector inclusive.
Industrialisation brings about economic growth and specifically introduces division of labour which is efficient and effective. Most importantly, it brings about the use of technological innovation to resolve and solve challenges as opposed to total dependency on human intervention.
Social and economic change takes place to transform or extensively re-organise the economy for reasons of manufacturing, hence forming an industrial society. It has the potential for sustainable economic development due to factory-based production. Mechanised mass production and specialised human resources increase productivity partly because of technological progression.
Private companies are required to financially invest in new industrial edifices. Zambia, as a landlinked country, has several neighbouring countries which provide a readily available market for its products.
It is said that the industrial economy has numerous benefits which apparently can benefit the citizens such as freeing more time to attend to other areas of need, large-scale production of goods which are made available to the consumers and the standard of living for the citizens is considerably raised.
If we walk down memory lane, we would realise that industrial revolution actually dates as far back as the 18th century. Industrialisation is said to have a characteristic of machine labour, which is an ultimate shift of human labour.
Remarkably, industrialisation is taking its shape in the world’s emerging markets and economies such as the BRICS countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Despite having many benefits, industrialisation equally has setbacks. Its most common pitfall is the rise in pollution. Undoubtedly, industrialised economies require lots of energy which mostly is provided by fossil fuels which when burned contribute to greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, thereby contributing to climate change, contamination of water, air and soil.
Additionally, social issues associated with industrialised economies include rural urban drift thereby littering the city, increased crime rate, sanitation issues and pollution.
There is no better time than this to start taking care of our environment. Implementation of various government policies such as the National Policy on Climate Change, National Policy on Environment, National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) and other related policies would synchronise so well with industrialisation. This would be as a result of addressing environmental concerns and mitigation of deforestation, land degradation and loss of productivity, hence supporting environmental security.
Environmental and climate policies, in the wake of industrialisation, are designed to create a comprehensive outline for effective natural resource utilisation and environmental conservation which would support sustainable development. If future generations are to enjoy the benefits of environmental benefits, it has to start with us today. Further, the policies may harness key economic sectors such as agriculture, tourism, mining, energy, to mention but a few, to achieve a holistic and integrated disposition for environmental management and resource utilisation. This integrated policy implementation would lead to adequately safeguard land, water, the atmosphere and biological diversity.
The nation would then achieve sustainable industrial and commercial prosperity. Environmentally and economically speeding up sustainable economic growth would lead to enhanced income and living conditions for most of the citizens, especially those considered to be poor.
The private sector would be required to work with the public sector and other relevant stakeholders to address the impediments. The benefits of industrialisation outweigh the pitfalls, hence the need for the private sector to heavily invest in industrialisation.
The author is immediate past chairperson for Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) Zambia.
Analysis: JOSHUA BANDA