Zimbabwe today launched its new ambitious five-year economic development plan, which is targeting a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of five percent a year to catapult the country into an upper middle income economy by 2030.
Named the National Development Strategy 1: 2021 to 2025, the plan is the successor to the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) launched two years ago and comes to an end this year.
It runs under the theme, “Towards a prosperous and empowered upper middle income society by 2030.”
President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the TSP had, despite serious odds such as natural disasters including the Covid-19 pandemic, achieved its objectives, mainly to stabilise the economy, and lay a strong foundation for the NDS1.
“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.
“Through the implementation of NDS1, we therefore envision inclusive development, an improved quality of life for our people and shared prosperity.”
Agriculture, mining, electricity and manufacturing are the top sectors expected to drive the growth.
Other top objectives under the new economic blueprint include maintaining fiscal deficit at no more than three percent of GDP, achieve and maintain single digit inflation, increase international reserves to at least 6 months import cover, maintain domestic and external debt at below 70 percent of GDP and a current account balance of minus three (-3%) of GDP.
During the five year period, government is also aiming to create 760 000 formal jobs as well as accelerate value addition in the agriculture and mining sector.
Success of government’s development plans, would be anchored on “our united and unitary character, as a nation,” Mnangagwa said.
The President spoke against illegal western sanctions which, in an unbridled manner, continue to militate against government growth and development plans.
“In spite of these sanctions, we have not buried our heads in the sand but instead implemented robust, innovative and responsive strategies to grow and develop our economy,” he said.
Illegal sanctions are estimated to have deprived the economy of earnings of over US$100 billion in the past two decades.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube said the achievements of the TSP included 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.- New Ziana