Zimbabwean Economy In Much Better Shape -Magnates2 years ago
Business leaders have expressed optimism on the Zimbabwean economy which they said was now in much better shape than it was a few years ago.
They attribute the positive trajectory to a cocktail of measures that were introduced by the minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube, and to good rains which are expected to boost agricultural production.
The Zimbabwean economy has for the past two decades been on a downward trend with analysts blaming poor policies by the Robert Mugabe administration, economic sanctions on the country, corruption, and climate change.
Jimmy Psillos, an executive at the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries and general manager of Harare-based manufacturer Crystal Candy told Bloomberg that Zimbabwe’s economy was changing its direction. He said:
If you look back where we were this time last year and where we are now, it’s really day and night. The economy is in much much better shape than it was.
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During an online briefing in Harare on February, 23, Ralph Watungwa, president of the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe and chief executive officer of London-based lender Standard Chartered Plc’s Zimbabwean unit said Zimbabwe was having a very good agricultural season because of the rains.
He added that the Southern African country has had “a fantastic last eight months and a lot of stability.”
The government says improved harvests mean grain won’t have to be imported this year, saving the country as much as $40 million a month and arresting a major drain on the country’s scarce foreign reserves.
The price of gold, platinum, copper, and other minerals produced in the country have also risen since March last year, further bolstering its finances.
The November budget projected that gross domestic product will expand 7.4% this year, a rebound from a 4.1% contraction in 2020 that was attributed to the onset of the coronavirus, and a second successive year of drought.
Lloyd Mlotshwa, head of research at Harare-based brokerage firm IH Securities, credits Ncube with driving through several bold decisions, including scrapping unsustainable subsidies and devaluing the local currency.
Despite the optimism, a real turnaround in Zimbabwe could take years, if not decades, given the depths to which it has sunk.