The Sunday Mail
President Mnangagwa is this month expected to spell out comprehensive practical steps that Zimbabwe will take to achieve an audacious US$12 billion annual exports milestone for the mining sector.
Mining and agriculture have been identified as key pillars to underpin quick economic turnaround.
Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando revealed this while addressing delegates at this year’s MEJRKH Mining Media Awards in Harare on Thursday night.
He said Zimbabwe has the potential to generate more than US$12 billion in annual exports from mineral exports alone, but what Government has done in the meantime, is to identify “quick win” projects that should bear fruit by 2023.
Minister Chitando told delegates that President Mnangagwa will indicate mineral by mineral, project by project and also give timelines of what is expected to be generated by who, towards the attainment of the US$12 billion target.
Zimbabwe hauled US$2, 7 billion in mineral exports in 2017 and went on to achieve US$3, 2 billion in 2018.
The envisaged leap to US$12 billion in 2023 from US$2, 7 billion in 2017, when the new dispensation was ushered in, will signify over 340 percent growth.
“. . . as Zimbabwe, we are endowed with the mineral resource, we do have the human capital, what we have lacked is the capital to invest, so, what is being done is first and foremost His Excellency (President Mnangagwa) coming up with the Zimbabwe is Open for Business mantra,” said Minister Chitando.
“Amongst the initiatives in that mantra was to change the indigenisation law, which to a larger extent, prevented capital from flowing in.
“When that happened, as Government, we then identified quick wins, which would realise a 344 percent increase from US$2, 7 billion to US$12 billion in 2023.
“We then measured the resources to the capital and then coming up with a comprehensive plan, which will be rolled out by His Excellency (President Mnangagwa) on the 14th of October whereby the US$12 billion will be completely unpacked which will indicate, by mineral, the projects which will contribute and also giving timelines.
“US$12 billion is not actually an event, but a process and the process is underway. We have a number of projects which some will be commissioned this year and others which will start to be commissioned next year.
“I am sure at that stage, a lot of stakeholders will then realise how serious Government is and to what detail we have gone in planning,” he said.
The second republic under the leadership of President Mnangagwa has set itself a target to transform the economy to an upper middle income by 2030 under what has been dubbed “Vision 2030”.
The mining sector is expected to play a crucial role towards the attainment of this vision together with other key sectors like agriculture, tourism and the manufacturing sector.
While work is ongoing on the process to kickstart quick win projects that will contribute to the US$12 billion mining exports, Government will also forge ahead with long-term projects that will result in the 2023 milestone being surpassed.
Minerals such as gold, diamond, chrome and platinum are expected to play a major role towards the 2023 milestone.
Delivering his state of the nation address (SONA) in parliament on Tuesday, President Mnangagwa expressed confidence the milestone will be achieved.
“The mining sector has continued to be a key source of export earnings, income, employment and the preferred destination for investment inflows,” said the President.
“We will soon unveil a comprehensive strategy and roadmap towards the attainment of a US$12 billion mining industry in Zimbabwe by 2023. The attainment of this goal is achievable, with concrete green fields and expansion projects now at various stages of implementation,” he said.