By Owen Mandovha
THE just ended Zimbabwe Economic Development Conference was instrumental in creating a clear path for government to harness its economic transformation drive by laying bare areas where bold measures should be taken to close gaps dragging progress.
Primed as the biggest economic conference held so far this year, the Zimbabwe Economic Development Conference lived up to its billing after robust, frank and critical conversations were held to provide practical solutions.
It was not just another talk show as all key conference takeaways were tabulated and will be included in the national budget.
“The conference had key takeaways that are going to be important in the upcoming budget.
“Infrastructure is key in driving development and it came out from these discussions that there is need to accelerate the development of key infrastructure. The consolidation of the fiscus through reforms was also cited as a key enabler to economic development,” said the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, George Guvamatanga.
Exchange rate and currency instability was described as the biggest elephant in the room and a threat to macroeconomic stability, hence the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development revealed a plan to eliminate this scourge once and for all.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangudya concurred with the Minister on the drivers of exchange rate instability.
“The RBZ has been implementing policies to contain inflation through monetary targeting. However this conference has been able to reveal that there is a dual exchange rate whereby the whole economy was charging Government a double rate for payment of goods and services whereas the Government wields 70 percent of the purchasing market,” said Dr John Mangudya, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor.
The conference alerted government to challenges around skills development, the state of infrastructure, incentives to attract investment and how to deal with a burgeoning informal sector alongside measures to accelerate poverty reduction to fulfill the goals enshrined in the National Development Strategy One.