President Emmerson Mnangagwa says Zimbabwe is expected to register an economic growth of about 8 percent this year following a bumper crop harvest and stable inflation rate.
In his State of the Nation Address in Harare and officially opening the 4th Session of the 9th Parliament today, Mnangagwa said, “My administration is buoyed by the upward growth trajectory of our economy. This year’s projections indicate an over 7.8% economic growth. The higher predictions are premised on the good 2020/21 agriculture season; firm international mineral commodity prices, stable inflation and exchange rate as well as the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The financial sector is stable with the foreign currency auction performing well and accessed by both large and small to medium size businesses. Going forward my Government will ensure that the platform is adequately resourced and that the relevant authorities enhance efficiencies within the system.”
He said these successes are being recorded against a backdrop of the “continuing illegal economic sanctions. The sanctions have a deleterious impact on our economy. We therefore reiterate our calls for their urgent and unconditional removal.”
In agriculture, Mnangagwa said timely implementation of government programmes is immensely benefitting the sector.
“The focus of the multi-pronged programmes now seeks to increase rural per capita incomes while also improving household food security and nutrition. The increased number of young people undertaking thriving farming businesses throughout the country is applauded. This new crop of young farmers assure us that the land which we fought for, will remain in safe hands, for posterity.”
He also noted that his government has increases the country’s strategic grain reserve to 1.5 million tonnes.
“In addition, my government is consistently availing adequate resources to expedite payments to our farmers for crop deliveries. This strategy is envisaged to guarantee enhanced productivity and profitability of farm operations along the ‘farming as a business’ philosophy. I once again exhort all farmers to ensure the timely preparation for the 2021/2022 agriculture season.”
Mnangagwa said the mining sector is this year expected to grow by 11% as a result of robust programmes, which encompass increased exploration and expansion projects, resuscitation of closed mines and opening of new ventures as well as mineral beneficiation and value addition.
At the same time, he noted that the manufacturing sector is benefitting from the Import Substitution Strategy and Local Content Policy launched by government, coupled with the favourable ease of doing business environment. “Growth of the sector and a steady increase in industrial capacity utilisation is being registered.”
He urged Zimbabweans to deliberately buy ‘Proudly Zimbabwean’ brands, which now dominate most shop shelves. “Meanwhile, I urge our industrialists to broaden their research and development towards increasing the range and variety of ‘Made in Zimbabwe products.”
Mnangagwa said the current economic rebound and increased productivity has seen increasing demand for electricity and fuel.
“In light of this, my government has redoubled its efforts to complete and commission Unit 7 and 8 at Hwange Power Station. Other renewable energy augmentation projects, inclusive of solar power generation countrywide, are equally on course.”
The Zimbabweans president praised health workers for fighting against the COVID pandemic that has claimed the lives of almost 5,000 people in the country since March last year.
“As a clear endorsement of our National Vaccination Programme, we have begun receiving requests for the hosting of regional and international meetings in Victoria Falls. Special attention to other tourism areas such as Kariba and the Eastern Highlands remains critical with regards to the roll out of the Vaccination Programme.
“I want to commend our front line workers for their selfless sacrifice towards COVID-19 infection prevention, control and management. My Government will continue to avail more vaccines in order to save lives and livelihoods. I, however, call upon all of us to heighten our determination with regards to continued vaccinations in order to meet our desired national herd immunity target.”