Zim fast track economy – President
Richard Muponde and Emmanuel Kafé
Zimbabwe’s economy is arguably the fastest growing on the African continent this year due to sound policies implemented by the Second Republic, President Mnangagwa said.
Economic growth translates into tangible progress in people’s lives and in Zimbabwe this is already visible in improved infrastructure such as roads, bridges and dams.
There is also a better health care delivery system, which has seen one of the best Covid-19 vaccination programs on the continent; more jobs, stronger food security and better social protection, among other factors.
The president’s remarks have already been backed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) who have both projected Zimbabwe’s economy to grow above its continental peers this year.
The IMF put Zimbabwe’s growth rate at 6%, while the World Bank put it at 3.9%, both figures being higher than the expected 3.4% that the two institutions projected for the remainder of the year. Africa.
In his mid-term budget review statement in July, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube, estimated the country’s economic growth rate at 7.8%, and said this was would improve the lives of ordinary people and create more jobs. by the end of the year after the country successfully emerged from the harsh period of austerity between 2018 and 2020.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Zimplats and Palmline Holdings cattle ranching project in Mhondoro-Ngezi on Thursday, the president said Zimbabwe’s economy was growing faster than his counterparts from the continent.
Turning away from his prepared speech, President Mnangagwa explained the growth trajectory the country was undertaking.
“Those who have imposed sanctions on us are disappointed that Zimbabwe is on the rise today. We are up, the economy is up. Our institutions are growing, our institutions are getting stronger and our democracy is taking root.
“Our Minister of Finance, Professor Mthuli Ncube, has just told you that this year’s economic growth will be 7.8%. This is the highest growth rate on the continent, despite the sanctions. Why, because we have remained united, we have focused on the things that we have, that we use to develop our country. And today we are witnessing this launch. It is a development which does not speak of poverty ”, declared the president.
“We will see this country develop from year to year, you will see the development of infrastructure in this country,” he added.
Since the launch of its economic reforms in 2018, Zimbabwe has stood alone and has not received external support unlike other countries.
However, last week, the country received its US $ 1 billion Special Drawing Rights from the IMF, giving new impetus to the economic stimulus package.
In another positive development, the World Bank has indicated that it is pushing Zimbabwe to get more funds instead of the small amounts it is currently receiving after the Bretton Woods institution said it was happy with the growth economy despite being affected by the Covid. -19 pandemic.
Speaking on Thursday after meeting with Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga, who is also Minister of Health, in the capital, World Bank Executive Director for Africa Group 1 constituency Dr Taufila Nyamadzabo acknowledged the growth of the Zimbabwean economy and said they had discussed the possibility of taking advantage of more funds in Harare.
Currently, Zimbabwe is only eligible for technical funding from the World Bank, largely because of its debt and arrears to the global financier.
“The other issues are of course Zimbabwe’s rare situation, so that it can move to a country without accrual accounting, in which case it will be able to get large loans instead of the small amounts it received from trust funds. , so that he is able to get enough funding to move forward, ”said Dr Nyamadzabo.
He revealed that they had discussed the campaign to roll out the vaccine in the country and that he was convinced Zimbabwe was on the way to achieving collective immunity.
Economic and political analysts have said Zimbabwe deserves the impressive marks it is getting from international institutions.
Policy analyst Dr Gift Gwindingwe said:
“It appears that the Bretton Woods institutions are now gearing up for Zimbabwe’s economic stimulus packages, with keen interest in re-engaging the former SADC breadhouse. The path of economic recovery taken by the Second Republic seems to tell an encouraging story. “
Economic analyst Professor Gift Mugano said the comments from the World Bank are very positive for the economy and boost investor confidence.
“It is clear that the World Bank is the ‘Commissioner of Oaths of International Confidence’ and sends signals to international institutions. These comments mean a lot. The reverse is also true, because if they say something negative it kills investor confidence.
“I’m not surprised, I saw it coming. Previously, I had said the country’s inflation would be below 100% by 2022, but people rejected me. Now inflation is at 50% and I expect it to be below 30% by next year, ”he said.