|Saturday, 11 August 2012 14:04|
How financially literate are Zimbabweans?ZIMBABWE is proud to be ranked among the best when it comes to literacy levels. (Literacy rate could simply be defined as a measure of how many individuals in a country can read and write). The last research carried out in Africa in 2010 put the literacy rate for Zimbabweans at about 91 percent — a clear testimony of our good education system over the years.
Given the high literacy levels, how does the ordinary Zimbabwean fare when it comes to financial literacy? Financial literacy could be defined as the ability to make appropriate decisions in managing one’s personal finance.
Important as this subject is, it is sad that very few Zimbabweans are enlightened about financial literacy and even more tragic is the fact that there is very little done in schools and tertiary institutions to equip learners about this very important subject.
It is sad to see that this country has produced graduates and a working class that have no idea of how to prepare a simple budget of their income and expenditure.
It is very disheartening to see some otherwise competent individuals that are distraught by personal financial problems. The number of people that, a day after pay day have no idea how they have spent their hard earned money and as a result live beyond their means. I agree that the cost of living is generally high given people’s incomes, but at the same time there are many opportunities that we miss because we have not been taught the importance of understanding financial literacy.
People today are prepared to buy a lotto ticket hoping to get rich quickly than to invest the same amount of money to learn and acquire skills to manage their finances better. A good education is a great investment to help us ultimately get that dream job to earn good money. But the tragedy in some cases is that even with a well-paying job, the failure to acquire the skills and knowledge to manage our personal finances could mean that we are destined to make the wrong financial choices!
The result is that we are unable to save for our retirement, for that dream house or even save to send our kids to university. The sad truth is that we are a country of “financial illiterates” who have been taught how to earn a dollar but not what to do with it after we have earned it.
I believe as a nation we need to start eradicating the financial illiteracy prevalent in all ages and income levels in our society today. Our education system should be revisited to address the issue of financial literacy and Zimbabweans need to be encouraged to acquire the financial skills and knowledge to make adequate financial decisions. This way, we will achieve economic independence through proper financial management and help reduce poverty, Government welfare problems and have a truly empowered people. — Larry Mukombwe (Zimbabwe Shareholders Association) at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is wrong with our economy?
Day in day out I analyse the Zimbabwe economy and it has the potential to grow and it can be done within a short period of time.
Everything is available to stabilise the economy in spite of the illegal sanctions imposed by Britain and its allies.
While sanctions have a bearing on the economy, there is also a need to ensure that our own environment is ideal for economic revival.
In this case I clearly mean it is important to scan our internal environment before we analyse what is in the external environment.
Further to that, you cannot start counting from the top going downwards and that will never happen on this earth.
Zimbabweans are occupying big positions in many countries so the question we must ask ourselves is why the same is not happening locally. Is it because we do not fully implement principle of economic growth?
The Government is failing to protect its people especially on taxes. Traders cannot be blamed for charging high prices on goods, they will simply be trying to recover costs.
Yes, local industries need to be protected that is if what they produce is available within the country.
A good example is Willowvale motor industry which is on the verge of collapse because of cheap cars from Japan.
We also need to improve corporate governance in companies. We need to do business within the confines of the law and more importantly create a conducive environment that allows investors to chip in without hassles and challenges. — From Sibangani, Dhlix, Dhliwayo (email@example.com)
It is a mystery stressing how this inclusive, exclusive Government is working, illusive in deed. We fail to get US$300 million to build the centre for UNWTO which has the potential to generate billions of dollars come August 2013 only to get funds for NMZWP, a project that takes three years to complete with no immediate benefits. Furthermore the world does not want to read about a State without portable water. — J Patana 0712 430155