HARARE: Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said Thursday that Zimbabwe’s greatest challenge post-COVID-19 is to get the economy back on track.
Having shrugged off the harsh effects of the pandemic to grow by 7.8 percent last year, Zimbabwe’s economy is projected to grow again this year, albeit at a slower rate of 5.5 percent, Ncube said in a statement.
“Following a brutal, once in a century global pandemic, the great challenge of our time is to get our economy back on track,” the minister said.
“For our country, the economic disruptions brought about by the pandemic could not have hit us at a worse time,” he said.
Ncube said the government’s quick and robust response to the pandemic helped to dampen the effects of the coronavirus on the economy, resulting in a positive outlook for the economy in 2022.
“By every metric, our country’s economic fever is breaking, as we once again begin to fill our economic lungs. The perseverance of our people and tough choices made by our government has put us on the path toward economic recovery,” Ncube said.
He said the road ahead will be difficult and requires the continued resilience of Zimbabweans.
The government had made and will continue to make the necessary tough choices to restore confidence in the country’s markets, the minister added.
He said apart from reigning in inflation, priority will be given to infrastructure development to ensure Zimbabwe attains its vision of becoming a middle-income economy by 2030.
“In 2022, we are also set to unveil a major expansion of Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, which is crucial for a booming tourism sector and for attracting investment,” he said.
The 153-million-U.S.-dollar project, which received funding from the China Export-Import Bank, started in 2018 and is progressing well despite delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
China Jiangsu International, a Chinese contractor, is undertaking the project.
The new international terminal building would be completed by June 2022 and the whole project would be finished by June 2023.