Harare (New Ziana) – Government is targeting to maintain the strong growth momentum that the economy has gained in the past year, by further growing local industrial production and exports and strengthening the local currency, President Emerson Mnangagwa has said.
President Mnangagwa, who has declared 2022 as a year of growth, said this at a campaign rally in the capital where he was drumming support for the ruling Zanu PF party’s candidates in the March 26 Parliamentary and Local Authority by elections.
To date, he said growth in the manufacturing sector had resulted in increased shelf space for local products.
On the exports front, President Mnangagwa touted the record USD9 billion export receipts recorded in 2021.
“In the old days, when you entered shops you would find the majority of the products on the shelves were foreign but now with the support we have extended to our local industry, Dr Sekai Nzenza our Minister of Industry and Commerce was telling us in Cabinet that over 75 percent to 80 percent of the goods on the shelves are produced locally. We want to go above 80 percent of all the commodities found in supermarkets, ” he said.
“When we came into office we used to gain around USD3.3 to USD 3.5 billion in export receipts but now we have reached USD9 billion. We have never reached this throughout our history. This year we are looking to go beyond USD 9 billion.”
President Mnangagwa urged Zimbabweans to ensure increased use of the Zimbabwe dollar, in line with government policy.
Last week, fiscal and monetary authorities announced a raft of measures meant to ensure wider use of the local currency.
For example, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube granted mining houses authority to pay up to 50 percent of their royalties in local currency.
“A country should have its own currency, there is no country that can develop using a currency that is not its own.
“We are strengthening our own currency which we want to use to grow our economy. We cannot grow our economy on the basis of a currency we have no control over.”