Project Management – The Profession – as a Catalyst for Economic Growth in African Economies


A Position Paper

By Eng. Tororiro Isaac Chaza, BSc Eng., MBA, MIET, C. Eng., MZwIE, PMP

Project Management Zimbabwe (PMZ)

Harare, Zimbabwe




This paper advocates for accelerated talent development in the area of Project Management, inter alia, as a prerequisite for economic growth support. Contemporary research has shown that there is significant correlation between innovation index and the number of certified project managers (PMs) in a given economy. The countries with the highest innovation index also have the highest level of PM certifications, firstly in response to the high demand for trained and experienced PMs, and secondly in proactive anticipation of the need to sustain global leadership in innovation, and hence economic growth. The governments of the developed industries have gone to the extent of mandating enabling policies geared towards the acceleration of PM talent development in the public and private sectors in order to spur economic growth support. International Development agencies are also called to undertake extensive injection of PM talent in order to improve project implementation success especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Finally the paper proffers advocacy for both the public and private sectors in Zimbabwe and other African countries to be prudent and pursue similar policies for the acceleration of talent development of PMs.


The shadow title of this paper is ‘Economic Growth as a Catalyst for Growth of the Project Management Profession.’ The proposition is that, despite the seeming paradox both the actual title and the shadow title are correct as they depict a retrocausal or reverse-causal correlation, in which A causes B and B causes A, or a situation in which the effect occurs before the cause. The simple explanation of this proposition is that economic growth is often accompanied by a massive growth in capital and infrastructure projects thereby spurring the demand for project management professionals. On the other hand, the availability and capability or lack thereof of project management professionals to support and spearhead the implementation of capital projects positively or negatively impacts the performance of the economic growth.

This paper puts forward a discourse for the need to increase the number of trained/skilled/certified project management professionals in order for Zimbabwe to compete on the global landscape. The paper calls to action business leaders and policy makers to recognize the need to accelerate the training of project management skills both as a cause of, and effect of economic growth. Zimbabwe here is used as a representative of and proxy for other Southern African countries as the country situations are appreciably comparable. Six areas are explored covering:

  1. The link between innovation and the quantum of certified project managers within an entity,
  2. The case for an enabling Government policy for the growth of the PM profession within the Public Sector
  3. The case for Enhancement of the Project Management Practice in the Private sector
  4. The case for Adoption of the Project Management Practice for International Development (ID) Projects and Programs
  5. The case for regional collaboration in enhancing the project management profession at both Public sector and Private sector level
  6. Conclusion


To read entire paper (click here)



About the Author

pmwj44-Mar2016-Chaza-PHOTOTororiro Isaac Chaza

Harare, Zimbabwe


Tororiro Chaza is one of the handful of PMPs in Zimbabwe. He has over 30 years of experience on projects in the Telecommunications industry, having worked for General Electric Company in the UK, then for the Zimbabwe Posts and Telecommunications Company, and top Cellular Company Econet Wireless. Tororiro was the General Manager of the Project Management Office (PMO) at Econet Zimbabwe for the last 5years in charge of managing a large portfolio of telecommunications, banking and construction projects of varying complexities. Tororiro is now a full project management consultant and currently reading for his PhD.

Tororiro Chaza can be contacted at [email protected]