Official Opening Address By The Then Minister Of Finance And Economic Development, Dr I.M.C Chombo, M.P. - IMF 2017 Regional Economic Outlook, For Sub-Saharan Africa

Let me begin by thanking the International Monetary Fund, Country Office for inviting me to deliver the opening remarks at today’s launch of the IMF 2017 Regional Economic Outlook Report for Sub-Saharan Africa.


Ladies and Gentlemen, as a country we feel honoured for hosting the first launch the Regional Economic Outlook Report in Zimbabwe, under the ‘Fiscal Adjustment and Economic Diversification’.



I am informed that the Regional Economic Outlook Report provides vital information on recent economic developments, country-specific data & analysis for the regional economies. The Report also identifies policy gaps that are affecting economic performance in our regional economies. Apart from identifying the policy gaps, it also provides possible solutions/policy measures that policy makers can adopt to accelerate economic growth and development.


As you may be aware, a number of countries in the region are facing low growth and increasing income inequalities, emanating from high levels of indebtedness, infrastructure gaps, over-dependence on commodities and low capital resource envelops among others.


Ladies and gentlemen, sub-Saharan Africa remains a region with tremendous growth potential, however, for us to transform our economies, there is need for us to come up with practical and holistic policies that addresses the challenges which we are facing as a region and as individual economies.


Ladies and gentlemen, the theme of the launch came at an opportune time when Zimbabwe is in the process of fiscal consolidation to restore fiscal sustainability to ensure that the economy remain on a growth path.


In 2017, the economy is projected to grow by 3.8%, underpinned by strong performance in agriculture and mining and in 2018 the growth momentum is expected to ease at 3.0%.  However, these growth rates the targeted average yearly growth of 7%, enunciated in the blue print, the Zim Asset.


Therefore, as we deliberate on the report, I wish you to explore and bring out the possibility of stimulating production in unique countries like Zimbabwe, which is in isolation from the international financial market.


Let me briefly highlight some of the measures we putting in place improve our economic performance. Such measure include promoting financial inclusion, value addition & mineral beneficiation, infrastructure development and supporting our farmers in order to ensure food security.


Our relationship with the Fund remains cordial culminating in the re-opening of its local offices in the country and the recent clearance of our arrears to the Fund.


It is our intention to continue to work with the Fund especially in our quest to resolve the country’s debt problem. Huge external debt compounded by sanctions make it difficult for us to stimulate production let alone diversification critical for creation of fiscal space.


With these few remarks, I want to thank you for the kind attention


Miekles Hotel, Harare, 30 October 2017

Ministry Financials


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