Zimbabwe Blueprint Sees Economy Expanding 5% a Year Through 2025

HARARE (Bloomberg) –Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa unveiled a new five-year economic plan on Monday that he said is expected to deliver expansion of more than 5% through 2025.

The so-called “National Development Strategy 1,” replaces the Transitional Stabilisation Program, which Mnangagwa said had delivered “notable and critical successes.” While annual inflation is at 471%, it’s tapered off for three straight months and the Zimbabwean dollar has stabilized at around $82 per U.S dollar.

The new economic blueprint will also serve as a precursor to the national budget statement that Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube will present to lawmakers later this month.

The new plan, known as NDS 1, will focus on “accelerated growth,” driven by agriculture, mining, manufacturing and tourism, Mnangagwa said.

The southern African nation, which owes more than $8 billion to international financial institutions, still hopes to pursue an arrears-clearance program with the multilaterals including the World Bank, Ncube told reporters.

Other highlights:

  • Fiscal deficits to be kept below 3% of GDP in line with targets set by the Southern African Development Community
  • Annual inflation targeted at 3% to 7% by 2025
  • Increasing international reserves to at least six months import cover by 2025
  • The creation of at least 760,000 formal jobs over the five-year period

Mnangagwa says the National Development Strategy one  (NDS1)which succeeds the Transitional stabilisation programme will be rolled out under better economic conditions and is expected to catapult economic growth.

He said government has made major strides in the implementation of TSP programmes across a broad spectrum.

“Throughout the TSP cycle, the economy realised the envisaged stabilisation goals. Significant and encouraging achievements were registered across the various pillars of Vision 2030,”he said.

The     NDS1 will be guided by 14 interconnected national priority areas among them housing delivery, digital economy, social protection and governance.

The strategy which outlines policies, legal and institutional reforms, programmes and projects for identified national priorities that will be implemented over the strategy’s five-year lifespan, was approved on Tuesday  last week  by cabinet.

The policy will help achieve accelerated, high, inclusive, broad-based and sustainable economic growth and development, and will also focus on devolution.

“The attainment of Vision 2030 is partly premised on the Devolution and Decentralisation Agenda, which empowers provinces, districts and communities to implement development strategies which are informed by their respective resource endowments and competitive advantages,” noted the President.

The new economic blue print comes at a time the country’s economy has been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in trade disruptions and resulted in a decline of tourist arrivals.

President Mnangagwa also reminded Zimbabweans that the implementation of the strategy is not the government’s sole responsibility but will require commitment and dedication of all Zimbabweans across the socio-economic and political spectrum.

The National Development Strategy one which runs from 2021 to 2025 comes after the two-year Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) stabilised the economy.