Zimbabwe’s economy is poised for growth despite the negative effects of the ravaging COVID19 pandemic and according to the World Bank’s flagship report the Global Economic Prospects 2021 report published yesterday, the country’s economy is expected to experience a 2.9% growth this year.
The growth is coming after a decline of 10% estimated by the same institution in 2020.
Commenting on the World Bank’s projections, economist Gift Mugano agreed with the projections saying they were realistic and in line with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development’s own figures.
“The projections are realistic, reflecting the reality we are facing on the ground, coming from a recession this is a fair projection by the World Bank. Coming from a lower base as we are, any positive increase is huge and this is in line with the Ministry of Finance’s projection. So we will not write off the projection from the government,” Mugano said.
According to analysts, with the agricultural season looking promising on the back of good rains which will help the government save foreign currency to import food and direct resources to import raw materials for industry and the GDP growth projection is attainable.
“Being an agro based economy and with the season looking promising the country will save over a billion dollars which was being used to import grain and cereal. The saved money can then be used to stabilize the exchange rate and well as foster economic growth,” Mugano said.
Zimbabwe’s GDP growth is above the 2.7% average projected for the Sub Saharan region and according to economist Godfrey Kanyenze, the growth rate can even surpass 5% this year.
“The baseline is the decline of 10 percent projected by the World Bank for Zimbabwe in 2020, then given the above normal rainfall, and even in spite of the resurgence of COVID-19, the recovery should be above the 2.9 percent of the World Bank.
“The key sectors such as agriculture and mining have been treated as essential sectors which remain open in lockdowns, which should provide the needed impetus for a recovery at a level above 5 percent. So in 2021, a large component of the recovery will derive from the low baseline,” he said.
Finance and Economic Development minister Mthuli Ncube projected a GDP growth of 7.4% in his 2021 budget estimates.