By Mike, Harare
Facts are rigid things. They stick and are very hard to delete or wipe out. No amount of debating or distorting can undermine pure hard facts.
That is why it is so important to look at all the economic indicators which have been reported over the last few weeks. A simple reading of these numbers shows that ED’s actions are supporting his strong and inspiring words. Let us not forget just how bad things were under Mugabe. We were in dire straits. We simply were not going anywhere. An entire nation was stuck, suffering, and our trajectory was down, down, down. Yet under ED, gradually things are looking up.
The economy of Zimbabwe is expected to grow by 7% annually according to the ZIA. Economic fundamentals are looking positive; in some cases extremely positive. GDP is already promising rapid improvement as agricultural and manufacturing sectors receive unprecedented investment.
Investors are queuing up to join the party. China, of course, is an old friend. But they are being joined by delegations from the UK (who with Brexit on their minds need new trading partners), the EU, Asia and we’ve even received high-level delegations from the United States.
With over 16 billion dollars of investment commitments focused heavily on agriculture and manufacturing, local and foreign experts are expecting an explosion of job growth. In fact, in international forums, since the beginning of the new dispensation, Zimbabwe is being discussed as the great economic hope of Africa.
This is all supported by a conveniently timed recovery in international commodity prices. Energy production is on the up with real investment and a conscious strategic plan being implemented. Already with the completion of the Kariba South Extension Plant, real change is happening in the power category.
The World Bank has revised Zimbabwe’s growth rate twice already this year. And guess what the trend is? Despite a pretransition drop, it is now up, up, up! Ease of doing business is making great strides. The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president recently said that “the new dispensation is moving fast to improve the ease of doing business in the country, hence more investors have an appetite to invest in the country.” He went on to say that “The establishment of a one-stop shop is enabling investors to do the necessary documentation without much hassle. The coming of multi-billion dollar commitments show the confidence that the investors and people, in general, have in the country’s new Government.”
Experts predict our mining sector will earn over 3 billion USD, with gold alone bringing in a billion. Agriculture is predicted to grow by over 10 percent, with tobacco, our most important foreign currency earner, to bring in close to 1.5 billion USD, potentially more.
Beyond this, economists show that Zimra will target over 4 billion USD, exceeding its previous target of 3.5 billion.
Just this week, a 12 million dollar confectionary company, Davipel, opened its doors to a 12 million USD company, creating what our president once described as “jobs, jobs, jobs!”.
So despite the naysayers and negative cries from the opposition, while it may not be immediately felt everywhere, Zimbabwe is on the up!