HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe is targeting annual average economic growth of 5% for the next five years, and aims to bring down inflation to single digits and create 760,000 formal jobs as part of a new economic recovery plan announced on Monday.
The worst economic crisis in more than a decade has seen inflation reach 471.25% and the Zimbabwe dollar currency collapse, with a shortage of foreign exchange.
Under its National Development Strategy (NDS), the government aims to increase foreign reserves to at least 6 months of import cover by 2025 and ensure “a market-determined and competitive foreign exchange rate regime”.
The economic recovery would be driven by investing in the mining sector, boosting agriculture production to ensure food security and maintaining the budget deficit below 3% of gross domestic product.
“This is also based on swift implementation of structural reforms aimed at removing bottlenecks and improving economic efficiency,” the NDS said.
The annual inflation rate is seen easing to 134.8% next year, falling further to 10.5% by 2023 and then into single digit territory thereafter, according to the NDS.
Zimbabwe has in the last three decades launched several economic recovery plans, many of which have missed their targets due to failure by authorities to follow through on reforms and keep expenditure within budget.
Under the new recovery plan, Zimbabwe would also seek to develop an economic reform programme with the International Monetary Fund and accelerate the raising of funding to pay $3 billion to white former farmers whose land was confiscated.
Zimbabwe owes international creditors more than $8 billion, most of it arrears, which prevents it accessing new funding.