Zim­babwe econ­omy pre­dicted to grow by 6%

The Phnom Penh Post - - BUSINESS -

ZIM­BABWE’S econ­omy will grow by 6.3 per cent this year driven mainly by agri­cul­ture and min­ing, the fi­nance min­is­ter said Mon­day, as the gov­ern­ment seeks to boost growth af­ter the fall of Robert Mu­gabe.

Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa, who was elected in a dis­puted elec­tion in July, has vowed to re­vive the mori­bund econ­omy since he took power last year when Mu­gabe was ousted by a mil­i­tary in­ter­ven­tion.

“In­di­ca­tions are that the econ­omy will grow by 6.3 per cent against the orig­i­nal bud­get pro­jec­tion of 4.5 per cent,” Fi­nance Min­is­ter Mthuli Ncube said at a news con­fer­ence where the cen­tral bank pre­sented a mon­e­tary pol­icy state­ment.

“How­ever the qual­ity of the growth, which is pri­mar­ily be­ing driven by two sec­tors of agri­cul­ture and min­ing is ob­vi­ously not in­clu­sive,” he added.

Ncube, who was ap­pointed af­ter the elec­tion, said Zim­babwe faced for­eign cur­rency and cash short­ages, an un­sus­tain­able bud­get deficit and dif­fi­cul­ties re-en­gag­ing with in­ter­na­tional lenders and in­vestors af­ter the Mu­gabe era.

“These chal­lenges call for ur­gent re­forms,” he said. “Bold de­ci­sions need to be taken on the re­forms front in or­der to stim­u­late growth and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment.”

Ncube said the coun­try was sad­dled with $16.9 bil­lion debt.

He said Zim­babwe was work­ing to clear a $2.5 bil­lion debt with the African De­vel­op­ment Bank and to ask key Paris Club mem­bers to re­struc­ture a $2.8 bil­lion debt.

“Debt res­o­lu­tion will help re­store the in­ter­na­tional credit stand­ing of Zim­babwe, re­sult­ing in im­proved ac­cess to new ex­ter­nal credit lines and in­vest­ment flows,” Ncube said.

Un­der Mu­gabe, the econ­omy was shat­tered by cor­rup­tion, botched land re­forms and gov­ern­ment poli­cies that saw in­vestors flee, mass unem­ploy­ment and the near-col­lapse of pub­lic ser­vices.

AN­GELA WEISS/AFP

Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa vows to re­vive the mori­bund econ­omy.

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