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The origins of the National Economic Consultative Forum (NECF)

The National Economic Consultative Forum originated from the Private and Public  Sectors participation at the International Smart Partnership Dialogue in July,1995 at Langkawi Island in Malaysia followed by a budgetary statement  by the then Minister of Finance, Honourable Dr. Herbert Murerwa, in  November,1995.A team of experts from the private sector, labour, academia, civic society etc then approached the public sector for the development of a smart partnership institution that would be the think tank for the country. After a series of meetings of up to 49 in total, the National Economic Consultative Forum was born and  it was subsequently launched on 17 July, 1997.  It came into existence with a mission to:

 

  • Develop confidence in Zimbabwe
  • Grow confidence amongst Zimbabwe
  • Create a stable, prosperous and united Zimbabwe.

The NECF Mandate
The NECF was created to ensure the attainment of socio-economic goals based on the concept of smart partnership between the public and private sectors.  Its mandate is:

 

  1. To create a smart partnership amongst key economic players, namely, government, private sector, labour, civil society, academia and other stakeholders in order to enhance the socio-economic development process of Zimbabwe;
  2. To provide a broad participating framework in the formulation of national economic policy through an interchange of ideas and experiences among government, private sector, labour, academia and civil society;
  3. To facilitate the coordination, monitoring and evaluation of national economic policy implementation;
  4. To provide a platform for forging national consensus on a shared vision for national economic development;
  5. To inculcate a culture of consultation and consensus building in policy formulation through dialogue;
  6. To provide a forum for national debate on topical economic issues and recommend   well considered views and policy options to enhance the growth of the economy.

VISION OF THE NECF

The NECF vision is “To Create A Stable, Prosperous  And  United Nation.”  Its values are:

  • Good faith, mutual trust and respect;
  • Self esteem and confidence;
  • Diversity, equality and shared interest
  • Commitment;
  • Visionary, innovativeness and competitiveness;
  • Integrity and accountability;
  • Accessibility to all stakeholders;
  • An oasis of ideas;
  • A reputable Think Tank;
  • Inclusive and firmly networked.


THE NECF MOTTO
The NECF Motto is:
”Together We Make Zimbabwe Great!”


LEGAL BASIS OF NECF

  1. The stakeholders of Zimbabwe constituted themselves as a voluntary association of citizens desirous to act in common purpose in pursuit of achieving Zimbabwe’s socio-economic development.  In this regard, NECF is a body constituted under “Common Law Universitas” to operate in accordance with universally accepted legal principles and practices and in conformity with the laws and regulations of the Republic of Zimbabwe in order to achieve lawful objectives.
  2. The NECF is inspired by the concept of smart partnership based on the principle that any integrated whole, with the general infrastructure, business process and social responsibilities all supporting each other to create limitless opportunities and wealth that is shared, sustainable and that allows the stakeholders to function in a global economy.
  3. The NECF, to all intentions and purposes, is based on the belief of a “win-win” and prosper thy neighbor philosophy among partners in a process that unites people in achieving mutual prosperity, cognizant that partnerships work by putting ideas and principles into actions that can lead to rapid and accelerated growth in the economy.  Further cognizant to allowing partners to deal in a flexible and responsible way desirous to have a nation that is proactive so that the unexpected and unforeseen changes brought about by developments, increasing globalization and set backs can be converted into strengths and opportunities.
  4. NECF therefore seeks a committed national economy driven by a vibrant private sector which subscribes to national goals and highest levels of corporate governance and ethical standards of conduct.  It interfaces with regional and international organizations devoted to promoting smart partnerships in order to facilitate fast track relationships between policy (state), business, labour, academia and civil society.  Furthermore, NECF advocates for effective and timely implementation of any national development policies and programs as agreed by all stakeholders.


THE STRUCTURE OF NECF
As a legal entity, the NECF Governance Structures are as follows:

 

  1. Patron (who is the Head of State and Government);
  2. NECF National Dialogue Forum – The major NECF body made up of government, private sector, labour,  academia, civil society, women groups, youth groups and Regional Chapters;
  3. NECF Board of Trustees (9) – Co-chaired by representatives from the public and private sectors.  It is made up of the key stakeholder  representatives;
  4. The NECF Steering Committee – It directs the affairs of the NECF and receives regular progress reports from Task Forces.  It is made up of Task Force Co-chairpersons and other specialized experts nominated to enhance the work of NECF.  It is again co-chaired by Permanent Secretaries from Government and Presidents or Chief Executives of CZI, ZNCC, EMCOZ, Chamber of Mines, Farmers Groups etc.
  5. NECF Regional Chapters – These are replicas of the national hub which are autonomous and run by their own secretariats.
  6. Task Forces – These are made up of experts which are the operational arms of the NECF created to execute specific tasks.  They are serviced by the Secretariat.
  7. The NECF Secretariat – It performs the day to day management functions of the NECF and is headed by an Executive Secretary who reports to the Board of Trustees and to the Steering Committee on operational matters.
  8. At the government level, the reports of the NECF on policy matters enters the Cabinet through the Minister of Finance and to the private sectors through the representative industrial bodies such as:
    • Confederation of Zimbabwean Industries,
    • Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce,
    • Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines,
    • Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union,
    • Zimbabwe Professional Health Council,
    • Zimbabwe Medical Association,
    • Labour Unions,
    • Non Governmental Organizations,
    • Construction Federation of Zimbabwe,
    • Zimbabwe Institute of Engineers,
    • Zimbabwe Academy of Sciences ,
    • Computer Society of Zimbabwe,
    • Tourism Council of Zimbabwe , etc and various other links.


Initially, funds of the NECF came from Government and Private Sector in the early formative years of the NECF while funding was being sourced to establish a Secretariat.  UNDP initially funded the procurement of basic equipment to kick start the establishment of the Secretariat.  In 2002, the African Capacity Building Foundation gave a grant to NECF to establish the NECF Secretariat as an autonomous institution.  The development and growth of the NECF Secretariat since  June 2002 was achieved through the technical assistance of the African Capacity Building Foundation ,the public sector and the private sector .