Navigating the turbulent waters: Introducing ‘Business Compass’

This column will also explore the relevance of humanistic management in Zimbabwe.

Welcome to the first instalment of Business Compass, a column focused on providing robust and cutting-edge commentary on the dynamic and multifaceted socio-economic, political and business terrain of Zimbabwe and Southern Africa.

In this era of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (Vuca), business is buffeted by unprecedented challenges requiring agility, adaptability and resilience.

This calls for cogent and clear insights to help them navigate the uncertain and chaotic terrain. This column is a valuable companion to the discerning business leader as it seeks to provide compelling and nuanced perspectives that illuminate the pathway.

Areas of focus

The column has a thematic structure and will explore key and pressing issues under each theme. The remainder of this article provides an overview of the key themes and underlying issues that will be discussed in the future. 

A key theme for this column is politics and governance bearing in mind the proven nexus between political stability and economic performance in Zimbabwe (Raftopoulos, 2009; Kanyenze, Kondo, Chitambara, & Martens, (Eds.), 2011).

Political dynamics often dictate economic outcomes, and vice-versa. Key issues that will be interrogated relate to national interest, constitutionalism, governance and diplomatic relations. I will explore the implications of these dynamics on economic policy and political stability.

Recently, President Emmerson Mnangagwa was quoted in local media as rallying Zimbabweans towards national interest. The logical context of the discourse on national interest is a country’s constitution Constitutionalism is the cornerstone of the modern state and is very important in democracy.

Constitutionalism is not just a theoretical concept but a practical tool for ensuring political stability and economic progress. Zimbabwe’s leaders must prioritise respect for the constitution and engage in inclusive, transparent governance to secure a brighter future for the country and its people.

Currently, in Zimbabwe, there is an emerging discourse around constitutionalism. For instance, should Zimbabwe defer elections scheduled for 2028 to 2030 in line with the slogan: “2030 vaMnangagwa vanenge vachitonga”?

Issues of good governance are critical in the wake of allegations of corruption and state capture involving a few individuals linked to procurement processes in some government departments. Good governance is essential for sustainable development (Doh & Stumpf, 2005), and I will scrutinise reforms, anti-corruption measures and their implementation, offering a critical perspective on progress and setbacks.

Diplomatic relations within Southern Africa and beyond influence everything from trade to security. The current diplomatic tension between Zambia and Zimbabwe, two countries that are neighbours and are both members of the Southern African Development Community, underscores this point.

This column will examine key diplomatic initiatives and their impact on the region.

Allied to the politics and governance theme is the economic theme. After years of economic turmoil, signs of recovery are emerging in Zimbabwe, yet the path to sustained growth remains fraught with obstacles.

Key issues include foreign direct investment (FDI) and trade and regional integration. Attracting FDI is crucial for economic growth, and I will analyse current trends, identify barriers to investment, and highlight opportunities in key sectors such as mining, agriculture and technology.

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) presents significant opportunities for intra-African trade, and I will assess its potential impact on Zimbabwe and Southern Africa, examining both opportunities and challenges.

Economic and political issues are deeply intertwined with social dynamics. Human capital development is crucial for long-term prosperity.

In this regard, I will analyse education and skills development within the Education 5.0 framework. The quality of education and skills training directly affects economic productivity, and I will explore initiatives aimed at improving higher and tertiary education, the challenges faced and potential solutions.

In today’s global economy, entrepreneurship and innovation are key drivers of competitiveness and growth.

Business Compass will spotlight the start-up ecosystem, discussing challenges, opportunities and support mechanisms. Special emphasis will be placed on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) development bearing in mind their espoused role in fostering industrialisation under Vision 2030.

Project and humanistic management

In addition to the themes mentioned above, I will also explore the relevance of humanistic management in the Zimbabwean context. Humanistic management emphasises the importance of human dignity, well-being, and self-actualisation in the workplace (Pirson, 2017).

By fostering a culture of trust, collaboration and empowerment, Zimbabwean organisations can unlock the full potential of their employees and drive sustainable growth.

I will examine case studies of companies in Zimbabwe that have successfully implemented humanistic management practices and analyse their impact on employee engagement, productivity and innovation.

Moreover, I will delve into the importance of project management in the infrastructural development of Zimbabwe. Effective project management is crucial for ensuring the timely completion of infrastructure projects, optimising resource allocation, and minimising cost overruns (Kerzner, 2017; Project Management Institute, 2019).

Since the advent of the Second Republic, several infrastructure projects have been implemented in Zimbabwe. I will highlight best practices in project management and explore how Zimbabwean companies and government agencies can adopt these strategies to accelerate the development of critical infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and energy systems.

By leveraging the principles of project management, Zimbabwe can enhance its competitiveness, attract foreign investment, and improve the quality of life for its citizens.


In launching Business Compass, my goal is to provide a beacon of clarity and insight in an often turbulent sea of information. By dissecting the complex interplay of business, economic, political and social factors, this column aims to equip you with the knowledge and perspectives necessary to navigate the challenges and seize the opportunities that lie ahead.

Together, we will explore the forces shaping Zimbabwe and Southern Africa, offering rigorous analysis and fostering informed debate. I look forward to embarking on this journey with you and welcome your active participation in making Business Compass a valuable resource for all.

Stay tuned for the next instalment, where I will delve into the intricacies of humanistic management in Zimbabwe’s economic landscape.

Acknowledgement: The article has been enhanced with the assistance of ChatGPT and refined with Grammarly.

  • Jongwe is an experienced business consultant with extensive expertise across various industries in Southern Africa, including higher education. — WhatsApp at +27 82 408 3661/ +263 788 016 938 or by e-mail at [email protected]

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