Zimbabwe’s recovery story from a mangled economy

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Many global economies were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. And just when some started to recover from it, the Russia-Ukraine war happened and economies are still reeling from the impacts of the war that is still ongoing. Of course, Climate change remains a major threat to economic development of countries, especially developing nations.

Zimbabwe, like many countries is not left unscathed from these factors. The country also experienced economic recession due to the effects of the pandemic, climate change and economic sanctions imposed by Western countries.

However, it is pleasing and comforting to note that the country has been doing all its best to revive its economy. According to the World Bank, Zimbabwe’s economy would grow faster than its neighbors, rising from 3.9% in 2021 to 5.1% in 2022.

The World Bank in Zimbabwe said the economy could recover faster depending on how the pandemic and regional economy performs. Overall, the recovery of the country is on a positive trend and if sustained, will impact positively on the lives and livelihoods of people of Zimbabwe.

This is good news for the millions of Zimbabweans who live below the poverty line. The World Bank reported in 2021 that 49% of the country’s population lives in poverty due to both the pandemic and ailing economy.

The Path to Recovery

When Zimbabweans went to polls in 2017, they hoped that whoever wears the cap to govern will be able to turn the country’s ailing economy around.

It is laudable to note that the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been putting in place a number of policy measures and programmes as a way of stabilising the country’s economy and improving the quality of life for citizens.

The Government has been rehabilitating roads, constructing dams, building schools, and modernising the agriculture sector, through installing irrigation systems, using local resources as means to foster economic development in the country.

Corruption has been a major restraint on economic growth in Zimbabwe for years and has been hampering economic development activities and proper execution of Government projects. The government’s zero tolerance to corruption in most governmental departments and local municipalities, as well as in all economic sectors transformed the nation’s economic status.

Also, the Government, through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, RBZ has been putting in place measures to stabilise the local currency and foreign exchange rate. Zimbabwe’s local currency crashed in 2009, after hyperinflation killed off the old Zimbabwean dollar.

Since then, the US dollar has been the main currency for transactions, as well as the South African rand. And in the following years, a cash shortage slowly Mangled the economy.

In June 2020, the RBZ established the Foreign Exchange Auction System. Although the Auction System has been marred by some challenges which included foreign currency shortages, as the demand for forex increased, it managed to reduce the inflation.

Furthermore, the Government has been putting in place measures that promote exports, thereby luring a number of companies to open and launch new manufacturing plants in the local industry.

For example, in 2021, President Mnangagwa commissioned Feruka Oxygen and Nitrogen Plant in Mutare. Additionally, Pepsi Zimbabwe launched its third beverages plant at its Harare depot in 2021.

Promoting exportation has also revived local industries and by so doing, encouraged the presence of local products in most shops. The local industry also offers Zimbabweans the opportunity of employment and livelihood. This will no doubt revive the economy as it will promote the buy Zimbabwe policy, and improve the quality of life of Zimbabweans.

All in all, the current government has its work cut out for it. It will have to look inward and deeper to elevate Zimbabwe’s present status and hasten it’d economic recovery journey.




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