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Economy of Zimbabwe

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Economy of Zimbabwe

Economy of Zimbabwe
Currency US Dollar & South African Rand
calendar year
Trade organisations
GDP $7.366 billion (2013 est.)
GDP rank Nominal: 123rd (IMF); 125th (WB); 135th (CIA) / PPP: 126th (IMF); 153rd (CIA)
GDP growth
1.8% (2013 est.)[1][1]
GDP per capita
$600 (2012 est.)
GDP by sector
Agriculture: 20.3%, Industry: 25.1%, Services: 54.6% (2012 est.)
8.2% (2012 est.)
Population below poverty line
80% earn below poverty line of ZWD 13 Trillion per month (USD $41.00) (July 2008). However, the average wage is only ZWD 100 Billion (30c) per month.[2]
50.1% (1995) 56.8% (2003) List of countries by income equality
Labour force
3.856 million (2011 est.)
Labour force by occupation
Agriculture: 60%, Services: 9%, Wholesale, Retail, Hotels, Restaurants: ~4%, Manufacturing: 4%, Mining: 3% (2003)
Unemployment Disputed
11%[3] (end of 2008) to 94% (end of 2008)[4]
Main industries
mining (coal, gold, platinum, copper, nickel, tin, clay, numerous metallic and non-metallic ores), steel; wood products, cement, chemicals, fertilizer, clothing and footwear, foodstuffs, beverages
Exports $3.314 billion (2012 est.)
Export goods
platinum, cotton, tobacco, gold, ferroalloys, textiles/clothing
Main export partners
 China 20.4%
 South Africa 14.9%
 DR Congo 12.9%
 Botswana 11.5%
 Italy 4.4% (2012 est.)[6]
Imports $4.569 billion (2012 est.)
Import goods
machinery and transport equipment, other manufactures, chemicals, fuels, food products
Main import partners
 South Africa 51.2%
 China 9.7% (2012 est.)[7]
Public finances

Domestic: (est) USD $1 Billion (Dec 2010),

International: (est) USD $7.6 billion (Dec 2010 IMF),[8] USD $5.3 billion (March 2010),[9] USD $1.3 billion (Dec 2002)
Revenues ZWD $216 billion (rev) (2006)
Expenses ZWD $451 billion (rev) (2006)
Economic aid recipient: $178 million; note - the EU and the US provide food orange aid on humanitarian grounds (2000 est.)
Main data source: CIA World Fact Book
All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars.
Zimbabwean exports in 2006

The economy of Zimbabwe shrunk significantly after 2000, resulting in a desperate situation for the country and widespread poverty and an 80% unemployment rate.[10] The participation from 1998 to 2002 in the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo set the stage for this deterioration by draining the country of hundreds of millions of dollars.[11] Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe has been a major problem from about 2003 to April 2009, when the country suspended its own currency. Zimbabwe faced 231 million per cent peak hyperinflation in 2008.[12]

The country has reserves of metallurgical-grade chromite. Other commercial mineral deposits include coal, asbestos, copper, nickel, gold, platinum and iron ore.[13]


  • Current economic conditions 1
  • Infrastructure and resources 2
    • Transportation 2.1
    • Energy 2.2
    • Telephone 2.3
    • Agriculture 2.4
    • Mining sector 2.5
    • Education 2.6
  • History 3
    • 1980-2000 3.1
    • 2000–2009 3.2
    • Hyperinflation 2004-2009 3.3
    • Dollarization: 2009 to present 3.4
  • Poverty and unemployment 4
    • Government response 4.1
  • The Government of National Unity 5
  • Post-Government of National Unity 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Current economic conditions

Since 2000, Zimbabwe has seized and forcibly redistributed most of the country's commercial farms. The new occupants, which included several prominent members of the ruling [16]

Government spending is 97.8% of GDP. State enterprises are strongly subsidized, taxes and tariffs are high. State regulation is costly to companies, starting or closing a business is slow and costly.[17] Labor market is highly regulated, hiring a worker is cumbersome and firing a worker is difficult. By 2008 unemployment had risen to 94%.[18]

Infrastructure and resources


Zimbabwe has adequate internal transportation and electrical power networks, however maintenance has been neglected over several years. Poorly paved roads link the major urban and industrial centers, and rail lines managed by the National Railways of Zimbabwe tie it into an extensive central African railroad network with all its neighbours.


The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority is responsible for providing the country with electrical energy. Zimbabwe has two larger facilities for the generation of electrical power, the Kariba Dam (owned together with Zambia) and since 1983 by large Hwange Thermal Power Station adjacent to the Hwange coal field. However, total generation capacity does not meet the demand leading to rolling blackouts. The Hwange station is not capable of using its full capacity due to old age and maintenance neglect. In 2006, crumbling infrastructure and lack of spare parts for generators and coal mining lead to Zimbabwe importing 40% of its power - 100 megawatts from the Democratic Republic of Congo, 200 megawatts from Mozambique, up to 450 from South Africa, and 300 megawatts from Zambia.[19] In May 2010 the country's generation power was an estimated 940MW against a peak demand of 2500MW.[20] Use of local small scale generators is widespread.


The telephone service is problematic, and new lines used to be difficult to obtain. This has since changed as sim cards are readily available at most retail shops. Zimbabwe has only one terrestrial service provider however and the lack of competitiveness impacts badly the local population. Cellular phone networks are an alternative. Principal mobile phone operators are Telecel, Net*One,Econet


Imports in 2010
Exports in 2010

Agriculture in Zimbabwe can be divided into two parts: industrialized farming of crops such as cotton, tobacco, coffee, peanuts and various fruits and subsistence farming with staple crops such as maize or wheat. The former of the two was almost exclusively in the hands of the white minority until the highly controversial and disastrous land redistribution program that started in 2000. This part of the agricultural economy was highly profitable and large amounts of the produce were exported. Subsistence farming is important for the black majority and has gained importance under the land redistribution program.

Industrialized farming was once the backbone of the domestic Zimbabwean economy and contributed up to 40% of the exported produce. The result of large scale eviction of competent commercial white farmers, the government's land reform efforts and the severing of economic ties with Mozambique, means that was no longer the case.[21]

Reliable crop estimates are no longer available since the agricultural marketing system collapsed. The Government banned maize imports, stating record crops for the year of 2004.[22] The University of Zimbabwe estimated in 2008 that between 2000 and 2007 agricultural production decreased by 51%.[23]

Maize was the country's largest domestic crop prior to the farm evictions. Tobacco was the largest export crop followed by cotton. Poor government has exacerbated meagre harvests caused by drought and floods, resulting in significant food shortfalls beginning in 2001. Land reform has found considerable support in Africa and a few supporters among African-American activists, but Jesse Jackson commented during a visit to South Africa in June 2006, "Land redistribution has long been a noble goal to achieve but it has to be done in a way that minimises trauma. The process has to attract investors rather than scare them away. What is required in Zimbabwe is democratic rule, democracy is lacking in the country and that is the major cause of this economic meltdown."[24]

Mining sector

As other southern African countries, Zimbabwean soil is rich in raw materials. Namely platinum,[25] coal, iron ore, gold and lately also diamonds have been found in considerable deposits. Also copper, chromite and nickel deposits exist, though in lesser amounts. The Marange diamond fields, discovered in 2006 are thought to be among the richest in the world.

In March 2011, the government of Zimbabwe implemented laws which required local ownership of mining companies; following this news, there were falls in the share prices of companies with mines in Zimbabwe.[26]

Gold production year [27] kg
1998 27,114
2007 7,017

It has been reported by various NGOs that the diamond sector in Zimbabwe is rife with corruption; a November 2012 report by NGO Reap What You Sow revealed a huge lack of transparency of diamond revenues and that Zimbabwe’s elite are benefitting from the country’s diamonds.[28] This followed former South African President Thabo Mbeki’s warning days earlier that Zimbabwe needed to stop its “predatory elite” from colluding with mining companies for their own benefit.[29] Also in that month, the Associated Press reported that at least $2 billion worth of diamonds had been stolen from Zimbabwe’s eastern diamond fields and had enriched Mugabe’s ruling circle and various connected gem dealers and criminals.[29]

In January 2013, Zimbabwe’s mineral exports totalled $1.8 billion.[30]


Zimbabwe has one of Africa's highest literacy rates at over 90%. The population is usually better educated than the African average, making the people one of the greatest assets of the country. The crisis since 2000 has however diminished these achievements because of general lack of resources and the exodus of teachers to other countries.


Zimbabwe's GDP annual percentage growth rate from 1980 to 2010.[31]
Zimbabwe (green     ) and the average for Sub-Saharan Africa's (orange     ) GDP per capita in constant year 2000 US dollars from 1980 to 2010.[31]


GDP per capita (current), compared to neighbouring countries (world average = 100)

At the time of independence, annual inflation was 5.4 percent and month-to-month inflation was 0.5 percent. Currency of Z$2, Z$5, Z$10 and Z$20 denominations were released. US$1 was equivalent to Z$0.657. Roughly 95 percent of transactions used the Zimbabwean dollar.[16] Following the [16]


In recent years, there has been considerable economic hardship in Zimbabwe. Many western countries argue that the Government of Zimbabwe's land reform program, recurrent interference with, and intimidation of the judiciary, as well as maintenance of unrealistic price controls and exchange rates has led to a sharp drop in investor confidence.

Between 2000 and December 2007, the national economy contracted by as much as 40%; inflation vaulted to over 66,000%, and there were persistent shortages of hard currency, fiat currency, fuel, medicine, and food. GDP per capita dropped by 40%, agricultural output dropped by 51% and industrial production dropped by 47%.

The Mugabe Government attribute Zimbabwe's economic difficulties to sanctions imposed by the Western powers. It has been argued that the sanctions imposed by Britain, the US, and the EU have been designed to cripple the economy and the conditions of the Zimbabwean people in an attempt to overthrow President Mugabe's government. These countries on their side argue that the sanctions are targeted against Mugabe and his inner circle and some of the companies they own. Critics point to the so-called "Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001", signed by Bush, as an effort to undermine Zimbabwe's economy. Soon after the bill was signed, IMF cut off its resources to Zimbabwe. Financial institutions began withdrawing support for Zimbabwe. Terms of the sanctions made it such that all economic assistance would be structured in support of "democratisation, respect for human rights and the rule of law." The EU terminated its support for all projects in Zimbabwe. Because of the sanctions and US and EU foreign policy, none of Zimbabwe's debts have been cancelled as in other countries.[33]

Other observers also point out how the asset freezes by the EU on people or companies associated with Zimbabwe's Government have had significant economic and social costs to Zimbabwe.[34]

As of February 2004 Zimbabwe's foreign debt repayments ceased, resulting in compulsory suspension from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This, and the United Nations World Food Programme stopping its food aid due to insufficient donations from the world community, has forced the government into borrowing from local sources.

Hyperinflation 2004-2009

Official, black market, and OMIR exchange rates Jan 1, 2001 to Feb 2, 2009. Note the logarithmic scale.

Zimbabwe began experiencing severe foreign exchange shortages, exacerbated by the difference between the official rate and the black market rate in 2000. In 2004 a system of auctioning scarce foreign currency for importers was introduced, which temporarily led to a slight reduction in the foreign currency crisis, but by mid-2005 foreign currency shortages were once again chronic. The currency was devalued by the central bank twice, first to 9,000 to the US$, and then to 17,500 to the US$ on 20 July 2005, but at that date it was reported that that was only half the rate available on the black market.

In July 2005 Zimbabwe was reported to be appealing to the South African government for US$1 billion of emergency loans, but despite regular rumours that the idea was being discussed no substantial financial support has been publicly reported.

The official Zimbabwean dollar exchange rate had been frozen at Z$101,196 per U.S. dollar since early 2006, but as of 27 July 2006 the parallel (black market) rate has reached Z$550,000 per U.S. dollar. By comparison, 10 years earlier, the rate of exchange was only Z$9.13 per USD.

In August 2006 the RBZ revalued the Zimbabwean Dollar by 1000 ZWD to 1 (revalued) dollar. At the same time Zimbabwe devalued the Zim Dollar by 60% against the USD. New official exchange rate revalued ZWD 250 per USD. The parallel market rate was about revalued ZWD 1,200 to 1,500 per USD (28 September 2006).

In November 2006 it was announced that sometime around 1 December there would be a further devaluation and that the official exchange rate would change to revalued ZWD 750 per USD.[35] This never materialized. However, the parallel market immediately reacted to this news with the parallel rate falling to ZWD 2,000 per USD (18 November 2006)[36] and by year end it had fallen to ZWD 3,000 per USD.[37]

On 1 April 2007 the parallel market was asking ZWD 30,000 for $1 USD.[38] By year end, it was down to about ZWD 2,000,000. On 18 January 2008, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe began to issue higher denomination ZWD bearer cheques (a banknote with an expiry date), including $10 million bearer cheques - each of which was worth less than US $1.35 (70p Sterling; 0.90 Euro) on the parallel market at the time of first issue. On 4 April 2008 the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe introduced new $25 million and $50 million bearer cheques.[39] At the time of first issue they were worth US$0.70 & US$1.40 on the parallel market respectively.

On 1 May 2008, the RBZ announced that the dollar would be allowed to float in value subject to some conditions.[10]

On 6 May 2008, the RBZ issued new $100 million and $250 million bearer cheques.[40][41] At the date of first issue the $250 million bearer cheque was worth approximately US$1.30 on the parallel market. On 15 May 2008, a new $500 million bearer cheque was issued by the RBZ.[42] At time of first issue it was worth US$1.93. In a widely unreported parallel move, on 15 May 2008, the RBZ issued three "special agro-cheques" with face values $5 billion (at time of first issue - $19.30), $25 billion ($96.50) & $50 billion ($193).[43] It is further reported that the new agro-cheques can be used to buy any goods and services like the bearer cheques.

On 30 July 2008, the Governor of the RBZ, Gideon Gono announced that the Zimbabwe dollar would be redenominated by removing 10 zeroes, with effect from 1 August 2008. ZWD10billion became 1 dollar after the redenomination.[44]

More banknotes were issued since Gono vowed to continue printing money: $10,000 and $20,000 (29 September); $50,000(13 October); $100,000, $500,000 and $1 million(3 November); $10 million(2 December); $50 million and $100 million(4 December); $200 million (9 December); $500 million (11 December); $10 billion (19 December); $1 trillion (17 January 2009)

On February 2, 2009 a final denomination was implemented, cutting 12 zeroes, before the Zimbabwe dollar was officially abandoned on April 12, 2009. Since then, Zimbabwe has issued a new currency.

Dollarization: 2009 to present

In February 2009, the newly installed national unity government allowed foreign currency transactions throughout the economy as a measure to stimulate the economy and end inflation. The Zimbabwean dollar quickly lost all credibility, and by April 2009, the Zimbabwean dollar was suspended entirely, to be replaced by the US dollar in government transactions. In 2014 there were eight legal currencies - US dollar, South African rand, Botswana pula, British pound sterling, Australian dollar, Chinese yuan, Indian rupee and Japanese yen.[45]

Dollarization reversed inflation, permitting the banking system to stabilize and the economy to resume slow growth after 2009. Dollarization also had several negative impacts, however:

  • Reduced taxation and financial transparency, as people continued to keep their money out of the formal banking system.
  • Extremely high real interest rates due to lack of capital.
  • Government forced into a "pay as you go" system, unable to spend more than it takes in.
  • Deficits of coinage for everyday transactions, leading the adoption of South African rand coins, sweets, airtime for mobile phones or even condoms for small change.[45]
  • Counterfeiting currencies with which Zimbabweans are not familiar.[45]

In January, 2013 Finance Minister Tendai Biti announced that Zimbabwe's national public account held just $217.[46] The election budget for the July 2013 presidential election was $104 million and government budget for 2013 was $3.09 billion at a projected economic growth of 5 per cent.[47]

In August 2014, Zimbabwe began selling treasury bills and bonds to pay public sector salaries that have been delayed as GDP growth weakens while the economy experiences deflation. US$2million was sold in July through private placements of Six-month Treasury bills at an interest rate of 9.5%. According to IMF data, GDP growth is forecasted at 3.1% by the end of 2014, a major decline from an average rate of 10% between 2009 and 2012, while government data show that consumer prices declined for five consecutive months by the end of June.[48]

Poverty and unemployment

Poverty and unemployment are both endemic in Zimbabwe, driven by the shrinking economy and hyper-inflation. Poverty rates run near 80%,[49] while the unemployed is ranked as the world's largest, at 95%.[50]

As of January 2006, the official poverty line was ZWD 17,200 per month (US$202). However, as of July 2008 this had risen to ZWD 13 Trillion per month (US $41.00) . Most general labourers are paid under ZWD 200 Billion (US 60c) per month.[51] A nurse's salary in September was Z$12,542 (12 US cents), less than the cost of a soft drink.

The lowest 10% of Zimbabwe's population represent 1.97% of the economy, while the highest 10% make 40.42%. (1995).[52] The current account balance of the country is negative, standing at around US -$517 million.[53]

Government response

The 2007 Empowerment Bill to increase local ownership of economy was drafted for presentation to parliament in July 2007.[54] It was signed into law by President Mugabe on 7 March 2008. The law requires all White or foreign owned business to hand over 51 percent of their business to indigenous Zimbabweans. Many economists predict this will plunge the country into deeper economic woes[55] In response to inflation the government has introduced price controls, but enforcement has been largely unsuccessful.[56] Police have been sent in to enforce requirements that shopkeepers sell goods at a loss. This has resulted in hundreds of shop owners being arrested under accusations of not having lowered prices enough. Because of this, basic goods no longer appear on supermarket shelves and the supply of petrol is limited. This has diminished public transport. This has not been a significant problem during the term of Reid. However, goods can usually be purchased for a high rate on the black market.[49]

In January 2010, Finance Minister

  • [7]
  • Economy of Zimbabwe at DMOZ
  • Zimbabwe latest trade data on ITC Trade Map
  • CIA World Fact Book
  • MBendi Zimbabwe overview
  • Donors will move in when Mugabe finally leaves office
  • World Bank Zimbabwe Summary Trade Statistics

External links

  1. ^ The World Bank Database
  2. ^ "The Zimbabwe Situation". The Zimbabwe Situation. 2008-07-16. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  3. ^ "Zimbabwe unemployment 11%". AFP. 2009-01-29. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  4. ^ "Zim unemployment soars to 94%". News 24. 29 January 2009. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  5. ^ "Doing Business in Zimbabwe 2012".  
  6. ^ "Export Partners of Zimbabwe".  
  7. ^ "Import Partners of Zimbabwe".  
  8. ^ "The Zimbabwe Situation". The Zimbabwe Situation. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  9. ^ "The Zimbabwe Situation". The Zimbabwe Situation. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  10. ^ a b "Mail & Guardian - Zim unemployment skyrockets". Mail & Guardian. 30 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-30. 
  11. ^ a b [2] CIA-factbook 2010, Zimbabwe - Economy
  12. ^ [3] Zimbabwe inflation hits 231 million per cent
  13. ^ Southern African Development Community :: Zimbabwe
  14. ^ Stiff, Peter (June 2000). Cry Zimbabwe: Independence – Twenty Years On. Johannesburg: Galago Publishing.  
  15. ^ Zimbabwe’s land reform: challenging the myths, by Ian Scoones, The Zimbabwean, 19 October 2010
  16. ^ a b c
  17. ^ "Zimbabwe". Heritage. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  18. ^ Mangena, Fainos (March 2014). "Professor". The Journal of Pan African Studies 6 (8): 78. Retrieved 13/08/14. 
  19. ^ Outages short Zim revival, October 9, 2006. News24
  20. ^ [4] Reuters Africa; May 3, 2010; Zimbabwe, China in $400 mln power plant deal
  21. ^ Economy, 2002. Geography
  22. ^ Famine fears rooted in Zimbabwe crop failures, February 9, 2005. The New Farm
  23. ^ "The Zimbabwe Situation". The Zimbabwe Situation. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  24. ^ Jesse Jackson lambastes Mugabe, SA banks, June 20, 2006. Zimbabwe Situation.
  25. ^ Zimbabwe in Platinum Today, Johnson and Matthey. Accessed 12. Jan 2011.
  26. ^ "Implats, Aquarius fall on Zimbabwe indigenisation news". Mining Journal. Retrieved 2011-03-30. 
  27. ^ Mar 8, 2008
  28. ^ Zimbabwe: Reap What You Sow - Greed and Corruption in Marange Diamond Fields,  
  29. ^ a b Zimbabwe: Mbeki Lectures Zim - Report,  
  30. ^ Zimbabwe: Mineral Exports Net U.S.$1,8 Billion,  
  31. ^ a b "World Development Indicators". World Bank. Retrieved January 6, 2012. 
  32. ^ Steenkamp, Philip John; Rodney Dobell (1994). Public Management in a Borderless Economy. p. 664. 
  33. ^ Fri Mar 6 13:51:09 2009 (2009-03-06). "Zimbabwe: Sanctions - Neither Smart Nor Targeted". Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  34. ^ "Zimbabwe sanctions: are they political or economic?". Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  35. ^ "The Zimbabwe Situation". The Zimbabwe Situation. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  36. ^ "The Zimbabwe Situation". The Zimbabwe Situation. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  37. ^ "The Zimbabwe Situation". The Zimbabwe Situation. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  38. ^ "The Zimbabwe Situation". The Zimbabwe Situation. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  39. ^ "Fear and hope mingle as Harare awaits election results". 6 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  40. ^ "Zimbabwe’s new $250m note". 6 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  41. ^ "Zimbabwe introduces new high denomination notes". 6 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  42. ^ "Introducing the new Zim note...". 15 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  43. ^ "RBZ Issues Agro Cheques". 21 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-02. 
  44. ^ "Zimbabwe introduces new currency". BBC. 30 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  45. ^ a b c Hungwe, Brian (6 February 2014) Zimbabwe’s multi-currency confusion BBC News Africa, retrieved 6 February 2014
  46. ^
  47. ^ [5] Zimbabwe's bank balance stands at $217
  48. ^ [6] Mugabe Paying Wages Using Debt as Zimbabwe Economy Slows
  49. ^ a b "How to stay alive when it all runs out". The Economist. 12 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-18. 
  50. ^
  51. ^ Matibe, Phil (2008-07-17). "The Zimbabwe Situation". The Zimbabwe Situation. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  52. ^ CIA World Fact Book 2003
  53. ^ Zimbabwe Budget puts government at ZWD 253 trillion in the red. (2006-07-27)
  54. ^ 2007 Empowerment Bill (2007-06-09) Zimbabwe Situation
  55. ^ Zimbabwe Indigenisation: Pressure mounts on foreign businesses
  56. ^ "The Thibodaux Daily Comet | Thibodaux, LA". 2007-07-01. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  57. ^ "Zimbabwe split over $5.7 billion debt plan". The National. March 21, 2010. 
  58. ^ "Zimbabwe seeks HIPC status for debt relief: minister". Reuters Africa. January 18, 2010. 
  59. ^ Croft, Adrian (September 26, 2009). "Zimbabwe should seek HIPC debt relief, minister says". Reuters. 
  60. ^ "Indigenisation now a mess".  
  61. ^ "Debt overhang deters funding . . . as Govt plots strategies to attract investors".  
  62. ^ Yamamoto, Ken (13 May 2014). "Disempowerment of blacks by blacks (Part1)". New Zimbabwe. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  63. ^ Majaka, Ndakaziva (20 May 2014). "Zimbabwe’s economic collapse alarms business". Daily News Live. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  64. ^ "Fish, Grain and Money: Financing Africa’s Green and Blue Revolutions". Africa Progress Panel. 2014. Retrieved 12 November 2014. 
  65. ^ Mungai, Christine (5 November 2014). "Bad news: It could take Zimbabwe 190 years to double incomes and Kenya, Senegal 60 on present form". Mail & Guardian Africa. Retrieved 12 November 2014. 
  66. ^ Jones, Gillian (8 January 2014). "SA at top of wealth list for Africa, Zimbabwe near bottom". Business Day. Retrieved 12 November 2014. 


See also

A 2014 report by the Africa Progress Panel[64] has found that of all the African countries looked at when working out how many years it would take to double per capita GDP, Zimbabwe fared the worst and that at its current rate of development it would take 190 years for the country to double it's per capita GDP.[65] Uncertainty around the indigenisation programme, the perceived lack of a free press, the possibility of abandoning the US dollar as official currency, and political uncertainty flowing the end of the government of national unity with the MDC as well as power struggles within ZANU-PF have increased concerns that the country’s economic situation could further deteriorate.[66]

In April 2014 Chinamasa admitted that the country was heavily in debt and that the country desperately needed to come up with policies to attract foreign direct investment.[61] Officially Zimbabwe's debt is $7 billion or over 200% of the country's GDP however this figure is disputed with figures as high as $11 billion being quoted once debts to other African countries and China are included.[62] As of May 2014 it has been reported that Zimbabwe's economy was in decline following the period of relative economic stability during the Government of National Unity. It is estimated that Zimbabwe's manufacturing sector requires an investment of roughly US$8 billion for working capital and equipment upgrades.[63]

Following ZANU-PF's landslide electoral victory in the 2013 general elections Patrick Chinamasa was appointed finance minister. Policies encouraging the indigenisation of the economy were fast tracked and laws requiring that 51% or more of non-black Zimbabwean owned companies had to be handed over to black Zimbabweans were implemented. This has been credited with creating further uncertainty in the economy and negatively impacting investment climate in the country. Although legislation dealing with the indigenisation of the Zimbabwean economy has been in development since 2007 and actively initiated by ZANU-PF in 2010 the policy has continued to be accused of being unclear and a form of "racketeering by regulation."[60]

Post-Government of National Unity

By the start of the 2009 the situation had been catastrophic for some time. The three parliamentary parties agreed on a Government of National Unity. Despite serious internal differences this government made some important decisions that improved the general economic situation, first of all the suspension of the national currency, the Zimbabwean Dollar in April 2009. That stopped hyperinflation and made normal forms of business possible again, by using foreign currency such as the US American Dollar, the South African Rand, the EUs Euro or the Botswana Pula. The former finance minister Tendai Biti (MDC-T) tried to hold a disciplined budget. In 2009 Zimbabwe recorded a period of economic growth for the first time in a decade.[11]

The Government of National Unity


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