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Iran’s economic resilience offers inspiration to Zimbabwe

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Iran’s economic resilience offers inspiration to Zimbabwe

Story by Abigirl Tembo

ZIMBABWE and Iran are sharing notes on how to navigate illegal economic sanctions imposed by the West.

This comes at a time when the two countries have proven that it takes progressive citizens to develop their nation.

A self-sufficiency-centred approach to economic development, mutually beneficial trade ties with regional neighbours, and improved economic relations with friendly nations have propelled Iran’s economy to become one of the largest in the Middle East, despite Western embargoes.

Vice President General (Rtd) Dr Constantino Chiwenga, who is leading a Zimbabwean delegation to the Iran-Africa International Economic Conference, highlighted the value of learning from Iran’s experiences, particularly in agriculture, manufacturing, and healthcare.

“We have benefited quite a lot by attending the second Iran Africa economic conference and seeing what Iran is going through since their great revolution and what they are producing in all sectors of the economy. You talk about agriculture products, food processing, advances in the medical field, and the industry.

“What we are calling industry at home is what they are calling SMEs here, and they have developed to such an extent that when these SMEs come on board, they finance them. They have a bank which finances them.

“They also provide funds for export, so it’s an industry which means they have now upgraded their SMEs to almost a medium industry. Their education system, which they have developed, separates the main educational and health sectors. They have 68 hospitals dealing mainly with medical training, and in that area, they have now separated their vocational skills training which has been separated.

“Remember, it’s a country under economic sanctions just like us, and they have developed their mantras which are almost similar to ours. They are coming to Africa and any part of the world not at a cost but to invest, just like we say, “Nyika Inovakwa Nevene Vayo,” he said.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Iran’s economy jumped 10 places in global growth rankings in 2023, achieving a 5.4% growth rate.

The IMF further projects a growth of over 3.7% for Iran in 2024, with an estimated GDP exceeding US$400 billion.