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World Bank Technical Team in Bid To Revive Zimbabwe Economy

Finance Minister Tendai Biti
A techinical team assembled by the World Bank has produced a report aimed at turning around Zimbabwe’s troubled economy.

The report which focuses on agriculture, manufacturing and mining was released in Harare on Wednesday

The bank's lending program in Zimbabwe is inactive due to arrears and the role is now limited to technical assistance and analytical work focusing on macroeconomic policy, food security issues, social sector expenditures, social service delivery mechanisms and HIV/AIDS.

The country’s external debt currently stands at US$ 11 billion, making it difficult for Zimbabwe to secure foreign direct investment.

Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Economic Planning, Desire Sibanda, told VOA that the World Bank report is key in reviving economic growth which has remained stagnant.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti has also cut his growth forecast to 5.6% from the 9.4% projected earlier blaming poor harvests, decreased diamond revenues, lack of donor funding and policy inconsistencies.

The Zimbabwe economy expanded by 9.3% in 2011, the third straight year of growth after a decade of economic decline that peaked in 2008 when inflation hit 500 billion percent.

Biti said government revenues had stopped growing, a sign that the economy now needed foreign investment to expand production and boost jobs, especially in the manufacturing and mining industries.