The Sunday Mail
Zimbabwe’s economy could rebound spectacularly and feed other African countries if its resources are fully harnessed, a top United Nations official has said.
In an interview with Zimpapers Television Network in Harare last week, UN Resident Co-ordinator Mr Bishow Parajuli also commended Government for its economic reforms, which prioritise settling arrears with multilateral lenders.
Mr Parajuli said, “You have so much fertile land. God has been kind: You have wonderful minerals — gold, platinum, diamonds … I think if these resources are harnessed well, Zimbabwe will boom. l can tell you Zimbabwe can feed the whole of Africa and outside if the resources are put to good use.
“In fact, in those days, I’m hoping Zimbabwe will join the United Nations in helping other countries which need support and respond to humanitarian crises in some places. I strongly believe in Zimbabwe’s great potential.
“Zimbabwe is already working on key areas like the reforms it has taken; engaging with financial institutions like the World Bank, IMF and African Development Bank to settle old payments and get new financing as well as bringing policies that attract funding to the country.”
Mr Parajuli added: “Zimbabwe has other developmental challenges like drought and floods, but is safe from the worst humanitarian crisis the world is facing since 1945. l had to say this, gladly too. Zimbabwe is not one of those facing the crisis (in terms of famine) which is happening in Somalia, Yemen and parts of Nigeria and Chad.
“The UN has programmes to support Zimbabwe to come out of maybe economic crisis; to move towards achieving the Sustainable Developmental Goals and also help meet humanitarian responses to drought and floods.”
Zimbabwe is poised to register economic growth on the back of various measures Government has implemented in recent years.
In 2014, authorities introduced the Ease of Doing Programme, which involves fine-tuning legislation to make the country more investor-friendly. For instance, company registry, shop licensing and accessing data from the Deeds Office Registry is now done within a short period.
In 2016, research by acclaimed Harvard University scholar Professor Ricardo Hausmann revealed that Zimbabwe has potential to become the fastest-growing economy in Africa, and the sixth fastest-growing in the world by 2020.