Tawanda Musarurwa Senior Business Reporter
Zimbabwean public and private sector companies and organisations should focus on benchmarking as a strategy to achieve internationally-recognised successes. Benchmarking is a process of measuring the performance of a company’s products, services, or processes against those of another business considered to be the best in the industry.
Senior principal director in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC), Department of Public Affairs and Knowledge Management, Ambassador Mary Mubi, said benchmarking is a strategy that has been lacking in Zimbabwe.
“Both in the public and private sectors, Zimbabweans have not been very good at benchmarking. When I was representing the country I would look at the various stands on where Zimbabwe was, and the last posting was in Rome so I was at a World Food Programme (WFP) Fair and I would go and interrogate and say, look at the countries around you and figure out why they are ranked above you.
“When you go to other countries like Rwanda you will see that they are number three at this, number four at that and they consciously make an effort to benchmark themselves.
“Our universities, for example, there is no doubt that as Zimbabwe we produce good students, but when you look at the rankings in terms of the number one university on the continent, you will not find a Zimbabwean university there,” she said.
Ambassador Mubi was speaking at a National Branding Media Briefing and Engagement in Harare yesterday.
The OPC is spearheading an all – stakeholders process for a national branding strategy that will inform the world that Zimbabwe is open for business and has functional institutions to support the exploitation of business and investment opportunities.
The campaign focuses on key result areas as well as institutions that deal with visitors to Zimbabwe, investment and trade in the country, among them Government ministries, departments, regulators and private business groupings.
The meeting yesterday followed the OPC’s 100-day nation branding strategy, which expertly combined tourism, culture, investment and trade opportunities into a measurable development agenda for Zimbabwe.
Ambassador Mubi said the country’s various provinces had carried out a lot of work around the nation branding agenda, adding that for the next 100 – days the key goal was to create a national conversation over what constitutes brand Zimbabwe.
Experts say nation branding is critical for engagement and re-engagement with the international community through communication of new trade and investment policies and reforms.