PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa, presently presiding over an imploding economy, is anticipating an ambitious average national economic growth rate of 7% per annum during his tenure.
BY FIDELITY MHLANGA
“We shall accelerate the conclusion of policy instruments that provide an amenable regulatory environment to further improve the ease of doing business and generate increased efficiency across the productive sectors. We must now make concerted efforts to sustain a national economic growth rate averaging 7% per annum,” Mnangagwa told delegates at the economic development and financial indaba in Harare yesterday.
Mnangagwa’s sentiments come at a time the country is experiencing an economic meltdown, with others expecting the economy to contract this year.
Zimbabwe’s economy will fall by 7,1%, according to the latest forecast by the International Monetary Fund.
The prediction is down from an earlier optimistic projection of a 3,1% Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth.
This year will be the first time that Zimbabwe suffers a GDP contraction since 2008, when the economy shrunk 16,5% at the peak of a hyperinflation crisis.
Mnangagwa said the US$12 billion mining industry set to be achieved by 2023 would create linkages that will in turn have a multiplier effect on overall economic growth.
“Going forward, there is need to harness the diverse opportunities in the various sectors of the economy. To date, we have enacted a wide range of sector specific policies, roadmaps and other interventions across the industrial, mining, agriculture, tourism, manufacturing and services sectors, among others, that highlight government’s support for productivity in the economy,” he said.
Mnangagwa has been under fire from diplomats and his political nemesis for failing to implement genuine reforms to jumpstart the economy.
On Wednesday, the United Kingdom special envoy challenged Mnangagwa’s government to introduce genuine economic and political reforms in order to turn around its faltering economy.
As the country reels under serious power shortages, the President pledged to ensure constant power supplies, adding government was fully committed to facilitate and support the productive sectors to grow the national economy and improve exports.
“In the same vein, we remain open to dialogue with the business community, investor and all other stakeholders in our quest to revive and grow our national economy. The milestone achieved to date in our drive to grow the various sectors of the economy will be supported and anchored by our national trade policy and national export strategy,” he said.