‘Above normal rains, stability promise good 2021 for Zimbabwe’

The promising rainy season expected to give good yields, coupled with economic stability, is cause for celebration as between them there is a strong foundation for growth next year, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube has said.

In an interview, Prof Ncube said the implementation of National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) from next year, together with the deployment of public resources through the $421 billion 2021 National Budget would spur growth and development from the sound foundation.

NDS1 is a five-year economic blueprint that succeeds the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP), which ends on December 31 after coming on stream in October 2018.

Implementation of the TSP, especially pertaining to balanced budgets and fiscal discipline followed by currency reforms and establishment of a foreign currency auction system, resulted in currency and price stability six months before the end of the programme with the last few months largely consolidating and proving the gains of stability before Zimbabwe moves from cleaning up inherited woes and accelerates into rapid, production-orientated and equitable growth.

Said Prof Ncube: “I wish all Zimbabweans a merry Christmas and happy New Year. The current economic stability and promising rainy season, should bring cheer to all, and constitute a firm foundation for economic recovery in 2021.

“The implementation of the NDS1 begins in 2021, with the strategic deployment of public resources and economic policies through the 2021 National Budget, and striving to leave no one behind and no place behind. Godspeed!”

Recent shocks such as droughts, cyclones and the Covid-19 pandemic were overcome but limited Zimbabwe’s efforts to build physical infrastructure and delivery of planned public services, hence the need to build resilience.

The 2021 Budget pays attention to priority areas such as inclusive growth, developing and supporting productive value chains, optimising value from natural resources, social protection, engagement and re-engagement, effective institution building and governance and strengthening devolution by bringing decision making, infrastructure and knowledge to communities to address development gaps.

Due to the general price stability on the back of the Reuters forex auction system, there have been long queues in supermarkets as citizens buy groceries and clothes for families ahead of Christmas Day on Friday.

Through the TSP, Government has laid a firm foundation for infrastructure development and economic stability.

Major infrastructure developments are underway across the country with the widening of the Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge highway being the marquee project being worked on by the Second Republic, without external funding and using Zimbabwean expertise and Zimbabwean contractors.

The five companies contracted to refurbish the key highway recently, completed the first 100km and are now working on the second 100km stretch.

The Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge highway is 584km long and all things being equal, it should be completed by 2022 and revolutionise travel along the highway, whose overloading had become a major cause of several fatal accidents.

The NDS1, which runs from 2021 to 2025, is anchored on production in the agriculture, mining and industrial sectors enhanced by devolution and decentralisation and prudent use of public resources.

It will also focus on mainstreaming gender, youth, women, and on the economic stability already achieved.

President Mnangagwa recently said Government will continue implementing robust, innovative and responsive strategies with the NDS1 seeking to continue entrenching democracy, constitutionalism and the rule of law.

NDS1 is the second step of the Second Republic’s drive to attain Vision 2030 of achieving an upper middle income economy.

President Mnangagwa recently said NDS1 will be rolled out under better economic conditions than the TSP and carries with it bold strategies and policies to catapult economic growth.

The NDS1 was a culmination of extensive consultations in Government, private sector, Political Actors Dialogue, labour, civil society, academia and development partners, among others. – Herald

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