I warmly welcome you to LEDRIZ, please feel at home. LEDRIZ was born in September 2003 from what was then the Economics Department of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU). It emerged from the desire to undertake evidence-based policy formulation to promote decent work-rich, pro-poor growth and sustainable humane development, as well as the realization that development cannot be outsourced. As an African proverb cautions, “Until Lions write their own history, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the Hunter.”
From this broad understanding, LEDRIZ therefore seeks to undertake research; conscientization, education and training; and advocacy and engagement work that promotes structural transformation so that our economies transition from dependency on primary commodities and the bulk of our workforce is employed in high value-added sectors such as industry and services – the structural bonus. In pursuing these noble objectives, we are however fully aware that such an onerous goal cannot be achieved by one institution alone, but requires the emergence of a critical mass of people that share similar objectives. As another African proverb says, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’ We are particularly inspired by the development experiences of East Asia and elsewhere, where economies emerged from the backwaters of underdevelopment, almost eradicating poverty in a relatively short space of time.
We are therefore convinced that Zimbabwe, as well as the rest of Africa, can also learn from such experiences, and leverage their natural resource base to transition to an industrialized state. It is in this regard that we see ourselves as essentially a learning institution, a catalyst, ready and eager to draw lessons from successful experiences and adapting them to our own situations for the betterment of our economies. Accordingly, we welcome ideas from elsewhere that can help us understand our predicament better and offer progressive solutions that improve the livelihoods of the majority of our people.