‘Zimbabwe no longer small economy’…Grown to US$40 billion in past 5 years Prof Mthuli Ncube

Leonard Ncube, [email protected]

Zimbabwe’s economy has significantly grown to a US$40 billion economy in the past five years, becoming one of the sustainable economies in the region with the diaspora investments seen as critical in the attainment of Vision 2030, Finance, Economic Development, and Investment Promotion Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube has said.

Speaking during the recently held Matabeleland North Diaspora Investment Conference in Lupane, Prof Ncube said despite challenges and the illegal sanctions imposed on the country by Western countries, Zimbabwe’s  resilience is a result of its hard-working citizens.

He said there are numerous investment opportunities in the country, hinged on the development agenda and President Mnangagwa’s Vision for an Upper Middle-Income economy by 2030.

“A lot has been achieved in the last five years and I would say we are about a US$40 billion economy and we are no longer a small economy. The aim of His Excellency the President is for the country to achieve an Upper Middle Income Economy by 2030.

“We are already a lower middle-income economy and now we want to be an upper middle-income economy and the investment from the diaspora is critical for us to attain that vision as we continue to implement our plans according to National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1),” said Prof Ncube.

He said the country’s economy had a growth rate of 8,5 percent in 2021, last year it grew at 6,5 percent and this year’s growth rate is projected to end at 5,5 percent.

The country has a population of 15,2 million people and Gross Domestic Product per person has reached an average US$2 000, said the Minister.

“Current growth rate is 5,5 percent this year and last year it grew by 6,5 percent. In 2021 which is when the current recovery started, the economy grew at 8,5 percent.

“We are doing well and the economy is growing and we are closer to US$40 billion in size. If you look at the size of the economy right now, already you can see that in terms of GDP per person, on average we are well above US$2 000. So we have made real progress and we should applaud ourselves,” said Prof Ncube.

The country’s economy is backed largely by mining which contributes above 10 percent to the economy, agriculture which contributes 12 percent and tourism adds another four percent.

He, however, urged Zimbabweans to have confidence in the local currency which he said will eventually become mono currency.

Prof Ncube said the Government has created a conducive economic and investment environment in the country.

“Zimbabweans are hardworking, polite and diligent people. So any investor thinking about investing anywhere in Africa should think about employing Zimbabweans, we are a very attractive destination.

“As we move towards the domestic currency, there is no country that has developed sustainably without using its own currency. Whether we like it or not, we have to support our domestic currency and it will become the single mono currency that is usable in the shops and for now as we move that roadmap we want to consult widely,” he said.

In October, President Mnangagwa extended the duration of the multicurrency regime beyond the initially planned cut-off period of 2025 to 2030 by which Zimbabwe is expected to have achieved upper middle-income status, in terms of Section 2 of the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act.

The development was seen as a major boost to investor confidence and ushering in certainty to planning for businesses, given some financial institutions had started scaling down US dollar lending over concerns regarding the fate of foreign currencies after 2025. — @ncubeleon

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