The government will today officially launch the Medium-Term Plan (MTP) that is expected to give impetus to the country’s economic growth and national development in the next five years.
The blueprint approved by Cabinet in May this year requires at least $9 billion from the government if objectives set out in the plan, including the attainment of an average growth rate of 7% and a single-digit annual inflation of between 4-6%, are to be attained.
Ministry of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion permanent secretary Desire Sibanda yesterday said representatives from the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, Bankers’ Association of Zimbabwe and other agricultural organisations are expected to address delegates at the event.
“The business session in the programme is meant to emphasise that the implementation of the MTP is not only government business, but that the private sector is also included in this,” Sibanda said.
“We expect the principals to grace the occasion tomorrow (Thursday) at the Harare International Conference Centre. It is not a government document, but a national document drawn from a process of high participation.
“We will have a panel on the international experience, especially China which had 12 five-year plans and has managed to grow more than any other economy in the world,” he said.
Speaking soon after the approval of the document by Cabinet in May, Economic Planning and Investment Promotion minister Tapiwa Mashakada said the plan would be financed from the sovereign wealth fund, domestic savings, restructuring of enterprises, local and foreign investors.
He said MTP which would be backed by information communication technology (ICT) development and knowledge-based economic development that would be expected to transform the economy from primary production approaches to product beneficiation and value addition.
Mashakada said if the government is to achieve its goals in the MTP it should address basic infrastructure requirements that include higher education and training, financial sophistication, technological readiness and science and technology.
Key priority areas of the blueprint include entrepreneurship development, employment creation, ICT, science and technology, human centre development, good governance, gender mainstreaming in all activities of the economy and macroeconomic stability.
Mashakada said the current account deficit of not more than 5% of gross domestic product (GDP), average employment creation rate of 6% per annum and foreign exchange reserves of at least three months’ import cover by 2015 were some of the objectives of the blueprint.
The plan also seeks to achieve a double-digit savings and investment ratio of 20% to GDP by 2015 and a budget deficit of convergence to the Sadc benchmark of less than 5% to GDP by 2015.
The three principals to the GPA, President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara are expected to attend the launch.