Mnangagwa launches new five-year economic blueprint

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Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday launched the country’s new five-year economic blueprint that is targeting economic growth rate of five percent per annum to catapult the country into an upper middle income economy by 2030.

Dubbed the National Development Strategy (NDS), the plan runs from 2021-2025 and succeeds the Transitional Stabilization Program (TSP) which ends this year.

Its other objectives are to accelerate economic growth, improve the public sector and strategic infrastructure such as energy, ICT, transport and house delivery, among others.

Mnangagwa said the TSP managed to achieve its objectives of stabilizing the economy and laying a strong foundation for the successor plan, despite various challenges.

“The NDS1 will therefore be rolled out under better economic conditions than the TSP and carries with it bold strategies and policies to catapult economic growth,” Mnangagwa said.

He said through the implementation of NDS1, the country was expecting to achieve inclusive development, improved quality of life for people and shared prosperity.

Agriculture, mining, electricity and manufacturing are the top sectors expected to drive growth in the next five years, he said.

Other objectives under the new economic blueprint include maintaining fiscal balance at no more than three percent of GDP, single digit inflation, increase in international reserves to at least six months import cover from the current less than a month, as well as maintaining domestic and external debt at below 70 percent of GDP.

During the five-year period, the government is also aiming to create 760, 000 formal jobs as well as accelerate value addition in the agriculture and mining sector.

Mnangagwa said the success of the new plan would be hinged on “our united and unitary character, as a nation”.

Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube highlighted some of the achievements of the TSP, including fiscal consolidation, external sector balance and exchange rate stability.

“The overarching goal of the NDS1 is to ensure high, accelerated, inclusive and sustainable economic growth as well as socio-economic transformation and development as we move towards an upper middle income society by 2030,” he said.

Zimbabwe expects its economy to expand by 7.4 percent in 2021 from a projected contraction of 4.5 percent this year due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and climatic shocks.