Zimbabwe projects 15% average growth over next five years

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Economic Development Minister Elton Mangoma of Zimbabwe today unveiled a mid-range plan to relaunch and transform the Zimbabwean economy over the next five years, envisioning a 15% average rate of growth.

Mangoma told reporters in the capital of Harare that he looked for 12.5% growth in gross domestic product in 2010 over the nearer term, after a projected 3.7% expansion this year.

Mangoma said the country would not reintroduce the Zimbabwean dollar over the period but would stick with the multi-hard currency regimen adopted by the country's national unity government with transactions primarily in the US dollar and South African rand.

He called for a market-driven economy, but said the country would review mining agreements where resources were not being tapped or where royalties had been set too low. He noted that mining operations should deliver clear benefits to surrounding communities.

"During the period [till 2015], the economy is expected to grow by an average growth rate of 15 percent from a level of 3.7 percent in 2009. This will be achieved through the restoration of productive capacity and creation of new capacities, aggressive infrastructure rehabilitation and development," he said.

Zimbabwe's economy has been largely devastated after political upheaval in 2000, and extreme hyperinflation several months ago. The unity government formed earlier this year, however, has sparked some hope that the economy can rebound.