Home » Business » ZIMBABWE’S REFORMS TO GROW ECONOMY PAYING OFF, SAYS MUGABE

President Robert Mugabe says the reforms which the Zimbabwe government is implementing to boost economic recovery and tackle poverty are beginning to bear fruit as he called on Zimbabweans to remain united and work hard for prosperity.

Delivering the 2016 State of the Nation Address in Parliament on Tuesday, President Mugabe lauded Zimbabweans for their resilience in enduring "all manner of economic hardships" in nearly two decades.

"I wish to commend them for their resilience, and urge them to cherish the peace and tranquility that continues to be the envy of many," he said. "Let us continue to find national pride in our core values of unity, hard work and freedom."

President Mugabe said the government had introduced a variety of measures to promote local content requirements across all the sectors of the economy. "Our major objective is to increase local capacity, create a skilled workforce and become a competitive supplier base," he said.

Import restrictions which the government introduced recently on certain goods had helped to boost local production mainly in the plastic, packaging and food manufacturing industries as well as cut import dependence, President Mugabe said.

Policy reform was also being accelerated to address corruption, improve performance of the agriculture sector, unlock investment and the potential of small and medium enterprises as well as to foster financial stability.

"The reforms are meant to both rejuvenate the national economy and contribute to poverty reduction," he said.

President Mugabe spoke of possible job losses as the government was "re-aligning and restructuring" the civil service structure to make it more effective through addressing duplications, abolishing redundant posts and overlaps among Ministries.

"The resultant effect would be leaner and flatter structures that are economic and would thus enhance effective and quality service delivery," he said.

He said a micro-finance institution, capitalized to the tune of 10 million US dollars, was soon to be established to assist in financing small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and co-operatives, which had become critical players in the growth of the economy. A Women's Micro-Finance Bank would also be established to empower women, he said.

In order to boost agricultural production and assure the country's food security, President Mugabe said command agriculture programmes had been introduced for maize and small grains production targeting a minimum of two million tons of maize.

The country is currently importing grain to address food shortages being faced as a result of a devastating drought in the past seasons.

President Mugabe lauded development partners for assisting the government by providing more than 360 million USD for grain imports.

He said the mining and tourism sectors were aiding economic recovery through improved production and tourists arrivals respectively. The government was working on programs to improve local power production as shortages were affecting economic recovery efforts.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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