27 Sep 2021
Zimbabwe’s economic growth could surpass that of any other country in Africa except for Djibouti, fuelled by robust agricultural output, attractive global mineral prices and huge infrastructure development, says the African Development Bank (AfDB).
According to official government figures, 7.8% growth is forecast for 2021, a 0.4% increase than initially predicted.
The AfDB said Djibouti may be the only African country to experience faster growth than Zimbabwe in 2021, due to a rally in port activities and increasing demand for its services as a logistics hub.
The Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Dr John Mangudya stated: “Zimbabwe’s growth is higher than most countries in SADC. Zimbabwe is on growth trajectory that no one can dispute unless they challenge it from an uninformed position. Objectively, the economy is growing but we are not saying there is no poverty.”
Dr Mangudya warned that Zimbabwe’s robust economic performance was not yet sufficient to eliminate poverty, but the nation was on the right track.
The central bank governor went on to add that output from key sectors was on an upward trajectory driven by enhanced access to affordable foreign currency for key imports.
The growth trajectory is associated with Zimbabwe’s National Development Strategy 1, the economic proposal driven by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration. By adhering to fiscal objectives, which in 2021 allocated 20% of the total budget for capital projects, this has permitted the Treasury to earmark substantial tax revenues to funding projects such as roads, dams and other public infrastructure.
That said, although the IMF and World Bank also forecast Zimbabwe’s economy to grow this year, they predict lower growth of 6% and 3.9% respectively.
In addition, the central bank shows the total foreign exchange payment between January and August this year totalled to just over $4 billion. As much as 60% was allocated towards raw materials, machinery and equipment imports, and the rest to pharmaceuticals and consumables, amongst other necessities.