Zimbabwe reviewing ownership model for SOEs to improve efficiency

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HARARE, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Zimbabwean government is reviewing the ownership model of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and parastatals as part of ongoing reforms to make them more effective and improve their performance for the growth of the economy, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said Wednesday.

He said there is need to strengthen the governance and administrative frameworks of SOEs and parastatals to ensure they contribute to the growth of the economy.

Mnangagwa was speaking at a seminar for cabinet ministers on the review of SOEs and parastatals ownership model.

"The review of the ownership model has been necessitated by the need to overhaul the corporate governance and management culture within state enterprises and parastatals in our quest to ensure their productivity, efficiency, accountability, profitability and relevance in the context of Vision 2030," Mnangagwa said.

"Given their spread and reach, their efficient performance is crucial to the modernization, industrialization, and development of a robust rural industry system, and growth of our economy as a whole."

Zimbabwe has over 107 SOEs and parastatals cutting across key sectors of the economy.

But their performance has fallen from a 40 percent contribution to Gross Domestic Product during their peak in the 1990s to less than 12 percent currently.

The review of the ownership model is being supported by the World Bank, African Development Bank and African Peer Review Mechanism.

Speaking at the same seminar, Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube said experts had identified the current decentralized model of ownership and control where ministries run the institutions as one of the problems.

"Experts have highlighted that line ministries do not have adequate resources to exert the right level of oversight on these parastatals and then the boards as well, they are not adequately trained and have not been able to exert adequate oversight in terms of governance," Ncube said.

He said in 2017, the institutions were expected to generate a profit of over 200 million U.S. dollars but they recorded a loss of over 340 million U.S. dollars.

"It is quite clear that there is something wrong that needs to be fixed. In migrating to this new model that we are looking into which is much more centralized, we expect them to exert better and more effective control on these state enterprises," he said. Enditem

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