The Sunday Mail
ZIMBABWE’s economic growth will likely outpace its regional peers this year despite headwinds caused by the coronavirus, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube has said.
In an interview with CNN’s Richard Quest on Wednesday, Minister Ncube said the country is running a well-planned and coordinated vaccination rollout programme.
“We are able to balance the budget, which is what I have been doing in the past two years. We have a strong economic recovery, where Zimbabwe will grow faster than its peers in the region and its peers in Africa,” Prof Ncube said.
“We are reeling under the impact of the pandemic – everyone is – but Zimbabwe is doing its best to reduce the social impact of the pandemic.
“We have a very robust social protection programme with various elements: there is the productive social protection element in which we give free inputs to citizens to farm and they have done very well – they have produced about one million metric tonnes of maize.
“We are also protecting the valuable rural areas through cash transfers, free education, and the vaccine is free.”
Government, he added, was making sure vulnerable children remain in school.
“This is going very well; of course we are doing this with the assistance of our international partners. Something is being done and we believe we have had the best response to the pandemic so far.”
Treasury expects the economy to grow by 7,4 percent this year buoyed by remarkable output in agriculture, favourable international commodity prices and various infrastructure projects driven by Government.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), however, forecasts the local economy will grow 6 percent.