Credible poll boon for Zim economy 

Source: Credible poll boon for Zim economy | The Herald July 27, 2018

Enacy Mapakame Business Reporter
Zimbabwe’s economy is projected to experience double digit growth on the back of credible and peaceful harmonised elections set for Monday.

On July 30, Zimbabwe will hold harmonized elections, the first without former President Robert Mugabe in 38 years.

According to a new report by South Africa-based Emergent Research titled ‘A Return to Normalcy – Zimbabwe Investment Report’, the country’s ability to hold free and fair elections will determine the flow of capital investment and influence economic growth.

“In a clear winner and accepted election, GDP growth is expected to be 6,5 percent in 2018 before jumping to 15 percent in the following year.

“Capital formation in form of mining and infrastructure projects is anticipated to materialise and stimulate downstream spending and incomes. Growth will average 12 percent between 2019 and 2023,” said Emergent Research head of research Ray Chipendo.

Sectors such as mining, agriculture and tourism should drive the growth as more investment flows into the country.

The tourism sector for instance, the launch of the Victoria Falls International Airport has already started paying dividends while other transport related infrastructure will also be crucial in creating an enabling environment for its growth.

But, in the event of a disputed election outcome, growth is seen below 4 percent as the goodwill earned so far this year will be reversed on low investor confidence.

President Mnangagwa has also made calls for a violent free election and invited international observer missions into the country.

Since last November when President Mnangagwa took over the country’s leadership, Zimbabwe has made multi-billion dollar investment commitments, more than what Mr Mugabe achieved in his entire 37 year rule.

Analysts say more investors are waiting for the outcomes of the election as they stand ready to pour in funds into the country, enhancing job creation, boost industry and subsequently grow the economy.

This also comes as the West is warming up to the country after two decades of icy relations following Zimbabwe’s fast track land reform programme.

“A credible election will boost confidence and likely see a fall in the exchange premium on Bond notes and RTGS balances against the US Dollar. A cut in the exchange premium will lower the cost of imports and ultimately landing price of imports in Zimbabwe,” said Mr Chipendo.

Inflation may start to edge up as demand increases pushing some of the prices as liquidity and credit start to flow into the country.

Emergent Research is an independent investment research company. Through its programmes such as the Financial Markets Indaba, Emergent Research democratises capital markets by empowering individuals and institutions with objective and actionable research and insights on Sub-Saharan Africa market.

“The indabas convenes capital allocators, institutional investors, project sponsors, fund managers and advisory firms with the aim to create investment activity in Zimbabwe and Africa.

“This provides opportunity to project sponsors and fund managers to gain access to projects, funders and opportunities through creating panel discussions and setting up exhibition stands to profile their brand,” said Financial Markets Indaba business development executive Patrick Muzondo.

The indaba’s are held annually in Zimbabwe’s three strategic capitals, that is Harare, London and Johannesburg.