Nelson Gahadza Senior Business Reporter
The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) provincial gross domestic product (GDP) data shows that nominal GDP per capita was highest in Bulawayo province at $203 868 in 2020 followed by Harare province at 104 674.
GDP per capita is a financial metric that breaks down a country’s economic output per person and is calculated by dividing the GDP of a nation by its population.
Following Government’s policy thrust on devolution and decentralisation, ZimStat, as part of its mandate, started compiling devolution statistics including provincial gross domestic product (PGDP) for the period 2019-2020.
“In response to the demand for devolution statistics by stakeholders, ZimStat released provincial GDP figures for the period 2012 to 2018. The Agency used the hybrid approach, which was based on data from surveys and administrative sources to compile the provincial GDP statistics.
“Today we are here to witness the dissemination of provincial GDP numbers for the years 2019 and 2020.
“In compiling these provincial GDP statistics, ZimStat utilised secondary data from Government agencies and surveys which include among others income consumption and expenditure survey, quarterly employment, agriculture and livestock survey,” ZimStat director general Taguma Mahonde said through virtual workshop to disseminate the findings.
According to the ZimStat report, Bulawayo GDP was $155 billion in 2020 lower than Harare’s $294 billion during the same year.
GDP is the final value of goods and services produced within the geographic boundaries of a given area during a year and it is widely viewed as a key indicator of the economic performance of that given area.
In Bulawayo, the major contributors to GDP were wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles at 31,4 percent in 2019 and 30,5 percent in 2020, followed by manufacturing at 19,4 percent in 2019 and 21,7 percent in 2020.
Contribution of finance and insurance was 7,8 percent in 2019 and 9,4 percent in 2020, information and communication was 7,5 percent and 6,9 percent in 2019 and 2020, respectively while construction contributed 4,7 percent 2019 and decreased marginally to 4,5 percent in 2020.
Zimbabwe’s devolution programme is largely founded on the principle of empowering provincial Government councils to spearhead economic and social development projects in their areas by leveraging on local resources.
Mr Mahonde said ZimStat will continue to play a pivotal role in supplying demand driven data to all sectors of the economy and by doing so, ZimStat will be complementing the evidence-based policy making and implementation processes through production of statistics disaggregated by province.
“I am glad to advise that in addition to Provincial GDP, ZimStat is also releasing Provincial Consumer Price Indices, starting May 2021,” he said.
According to data presented by Tafadzwa Bandama, director of macroeconomics division ZimStat, Harare is the hub of economic activity in the country, largely dominated by manufacturing, financial services, commercial, and communications centres.
She said Harare’s manufacturing sector contribution to GDP rose from 21,9 percent in 2019 to 24,3 percent in 2020 while finance and insurance contribution was 7,7 percent in 2019 to 9,1 percent in 2020.
Information and communication contribution was 5,8 percent and 5,3 percent in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
She noted that apart from Harare and Bulawayo, GDP figures for other provinces in 2020 were as follows; Mashonaland West $132 billion, Midlands $130 billion, Manicaland $103 billion, Masvingo $84 billion, Mashonaland East $76 billion, Matabeleland North $60 billion and Matabeleland South $56 billion, bringing the total national GDP to $1,15 trillion.
Mr Nicholas Masiyandima, chief economist, economic research and policy at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) said in terms of economic concentration compared to diversification, producers of raw materials were concentrated in Mashonaland West, Midlands, Mashonaland Central and Manicaland provinces.
He said manufacturing is concentrated in Harare and Bulawayo, adding that provincial value addition and value chain participation-decentralised will result in employment creation and local economic development.
Mr Masiyandima said industrialisation should put more weight on manufacturing across provinces.