Africa Development Bank (AfDB) Country Manager, Damoni Kitabire, who was giving remarks during the Private Sector Development Round-Table in Harare yesterday said while trade is picking up, actual investments remain weak in Zimbabwe.
The Country Manager said concerns remain that downside risks such as policy uncertainty, or possible financial market turbulence could derail recovery.
“It is now therefore imperative for the country to implement the much-needed reforms to grow the economy and to be competitive in what appears to be a more complex, demanding, and digitised future,” Kitabire said.
“In order to achieve strong and sustainable growth, a robust private sector, that is supported by an efficient banking system, is critical.”
The manager also said Zimbabwe has all the potential to recover from its economic past.
“The country’s private sector has shown resilience as basic infrastructure is in place,” Kitabire said. “More so, the country’s new political and institutional dispensation has given a new impetus to the economic recovery prospects.”
“Since his inaugural, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has expressed strong commitment to undertake economic and structural reforms, notably to rebuild confidence through restoration of private property rights, ensure macroeconomic stability and growth, fiscal consolidation and external debt arrears clearance, improve governance and the business environment to generate broad-based growth and create jobs.”
“With renewed optimism and rehabilitation of industry, there is increasing demand for international funding to the private sector for retooling, modernisation of production and to finance trade with the rest of the world.”
Zimbabwe’s private sector has grappled with numerous challenges over the last two decades which included lack of working capital , inadequate foreign currency for manufacturing companies to import the much needed raw materials and the continued influx of cheap imported products according to the AfDB manager.
“In addition, the high cost of infrastructure (particularly energy and water) have been key challenges for private sector development, how business confidence in the country also hampered private sector growth,” Kitabire said.