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Zimbabwe Economy Minister Projects 15% Average Growth Over Next Five Years

Economic Development Minister Elton Mangoma of Zimbabwe on Monday today unveiled a mid-range plan to relaunch and transform the Zimbabwean economy over the next five years, envisioning an average rate of growth over the period of an ambitious 15%.

Over the nearer term Mangoma told reporters in Harare that he looked for 12.5% growth in gross domestic product in 2010 after a projected 3.7% expansion this year.

Mangoma said the country would not reintroduce the Zimbabwean dollar over the period but would stick with the multi-hard currency regimen adopted by the country's national unity government with transactions primarily in the U.S. dollar and South African rand.

He called for a market-driven economy but said the country would review mining agreements where resources were not being tapped or where royalties had been set too low. He said mining operations should deliver clear benefits to surrounding communities.

VOA Studio 7 correspondent Irwin Chifera reported from Harare.

Economist Eric Bloch told VOA Studio 7 reporter Chris Gande that growth averaging 15% is not out of reach - but emphasized that the plan's success would depend heavily on emergence of a political climate that bolsters investor confidence.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...