Zimbabwe Scores High in Budget Transparency Ranking
ZIMBABWE has improved its ranking in national budget transparency after moving up the ranks by 11 points to number 41 out of 120 out of 52 countries surveyed last year, becoming the third in Africa after South Africa and The Benin.
International budget rankings are conducted regularly by the Global Open Budget Survey whose latest report describes the milestones and gaps recorded by different countries.
For Zimbabwe, the positive advances reflect the country’s openness in managing its financial affairs, which economic analysts say is a critical factor in boosting investor confidence.
The Global Open Budget Survey is the world’s only independent, comparative and evidence-based research tool that uses internationally accepted criteria to assess public access to central government budget information; formal opportunities for the public to participate in the national budget process; and the role of budget oversight institutions such as the legislature and the auditor in the budget process.
When carrying out the survey, which results in a ranking, the government’s budgetary decisions, including the taxes to be levied, the services to be provided and the amount of debt to be incurred, are highlighted.
Issues related to the equality and well-being of its inhabitants are also taken into account with a focus on providing opportunities to disadvantaged people, which are essential in the ranking processes.
Engagements between government and its publics are also highlighted and the impact of policies on livelihoods in international rankings.
In this regard, Zimbabwe has made its budget processes more transparent through the consultative process and continued engagement with citizens on policy issues.
In her post-Cabinet press conference on Tuesday, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa, said the Global Open Budget Survey report on Zimbabwe had been submitted. to Cabinet by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube.
“The Cabinet would like to point out that within Africa, Zimbabwe is now ranked third after South Africa and Benin, which occupy the 1st and 2nd positions respectively,” she said. “In the Southern Africa region, Zimbabwe is now number two, behind South Africa.
The significant improvement in the Global Open Budget Survey testifies to the success of the country’s economic reforms under the Second Republic.
The government joins the people of Zimbabwe in celebrating this milestone.
“The Cabinet announces, with immense pleasure, that Zimbabwe has improved by 11 positions from 52nd to 41st out of 120 countries in the latest Global Open Budget Survey.”
Minister Mutsvangwa said the survey measures, in particular, the overall quality of the national budget process, as well as the transparency and consultation quality of the process.
“In terms of budget quality, Zimbabwe ranks 14 points above the global average and well above all African countries,” she said.
Contacted for comment, economic analyst and lecturer Dr Orpheus Kurauone said the positive rankings on the country’s budget system were a confidence factor.
“It’s an endorsement of how we manage our budgets.
This means that there is now an improvement in the way countries’ budgets are going,” he said.
“It means the country is no longer overspending or underspending.
It uses allocated resources to acceptable standards,” Dr Kurauone said.
He said the rankings could lead to positive perceptions in the investing world.
“It will have an impact on the economy because even investors will be willing to partner with us because they will know that the budgeted money will be used for what it is budgeted for,” Dr Kurauone said.
“Even if you want bilateral trade and bilateral trade facilities or multilateral trade facilities, now you will have effective tools to do business,” he said.
“It’s a positive thing although people might take it lightly because when people don’t trust your budget anymore, that’s a problem.
“It’s like at home when you have a 10kg budget and you are exhausted in two days it becomes a problem, it will stress you out.
So we are going in the right direction.”
Dr Kurauone said that without sanctions, the transparent budget system could have seen the country attract more investment.
President Mnangagwa’s government has also pledged to leave no community or place behind on development issues.
This explains why even formally marginalized groups such as the San community are integrated into the wider society and benefit from the employment opportunities that exist within government.