What makes Bulawayo’s economy tick?…Five keys drive city economy

29 Nov, 2022 - 00:11 0 Views
What makes Bulawayo’s economy tick?…Five keys drive city economy Zimstart presents a document- Taguma Mahonde

The Chronicle

Nqobile Bhebhe, Senior Business Reporter

FIVE key business activities have been driving Bulawayo’s economy with a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of close to $20 billion between 2019 and 2021, a latest report has shown.

According to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat), the five key sectors are wholesale/retail trading, manufacturing, insurance, communication and construction.

Gross Domestic Product

Overall, the City of Bulawayo’s GDP contribution in 2021 was at 13,6 percent, the second highest after Harare, which sits at about 24,5 percent, Zimstat said.

The provincial GDP measure is based on the production approach, which estimates GDP by industry while provincial GDP estimate in constant terms estimates the real output per province after inflation adjustments.

Presenting the provincial GDP 2019-2021 report in Bulawayo yesterday, Zimstat director general, Mr Taguma Mahonde, said the $8,63 billion contribution by the wholesale and retail sector in the city is an indication that the economy is leaning towards that sector.

Money – Image taken from Pixabay

In the past few years, the city has seen a rapid rise in retail activity involving small partitioned grocery shops in the central business district.

The mini shops created by shop owners legally or illegally are becoming popular destinations for shoppers as they are easily the preferred shopping areas and cater to a variety of budgets.

In the glass partitions, an assortment of goods are sold by different traders making it easier to compare prices.

In these shops one can find boutiques, salons, garment-making materials, electrical appliances, furniture, building materials, bedding, cellphone and accessories, spare parts and clothes among others.

“From an economic point of view, the economy is never static, so this indicates that the economy is taking a major share in wholesale,” said Mr Mahonde.

Based on the presentation, the manufacturing sector contributed $3,95 billion, financial and insurance activities ($2,58 billion), information and communication ($2,29 billion) while the construction sectors chipped in with $1,05 billion.

In terms of sectorial GDP contributions in 2021, wholesale and retail trade had 21,3 percent manufacturing (15,9 percent), real estate activities (14,7 percent), construction (16,8 percent) while accommodation and food had 15,3 percent.

Unlike in recent years, where the second largest city suffered massive closure and relocation of big companies, the tide is turning as more companies are now expanding capacity and growing their export footprint.

This is happening at a time when the Government under the Second Republic, is working closely with the private sector to roll out comprehensive economic reforms under the mantra “Zimbabwe is open for business”.

National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1)

Early this month, during a tour of several industries on the sidelines of a recent retreat and strategic planning review meeting for ambassadors and senior managers in Bulawayo, diplomats expressed satisfaction the revival pace of the city’s industries.

They said the gradual revival of Bulawayo industries with special focus on exports would enable the city to reclaim its status as the country’s manufacturing hub.

Coming from a background of closure of companies and loss of jobs experienced in the last two decades, the country’s second largest city is now focused on revitalising its key industries guided by the value chain model.

Turning to the third Quarterly Labour Force Survey results, Mr Mahonde said the aim was to provide information on the number of people classified according to their activity, informal sector and informal employment and labour market indicators necessary to monitor the implementation of Zimbabwe’s macro-economic policies such as the National Development Strategy 1 and other related strategies.

A total of 500 enumeration areas and 12 500 households were selected for the survey and the national response rate was 95 percent.
In the period under review, Bulawayo had an employment rate of 74,99 percent of which 55,7 percent where male and 41,3 percent female.

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