Zimbabwe has huge potential: Word Bank

The World Bank says Zimbabwe can be a middle-income state in a decade.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Thursday in Nigeria’s capital Abuja, World Bank Vice President for Africa, Hafez Ghanem said with a new president elected this week, Zimbabwe is a country with huge potential and can easily become an upper middle income country in a very short time and depending on the type of programmes, it can be achieved in 5 to 10 years.

“It’s a country with huge potential…Zimbabwe has some of the most educated people on our continent, we have human capital and we have natural resources,” said Ghanem.

Ghanem advised the incoming government will need to attract investment, deal with debt and return to the international financial system to recover and grow.

He opined Zimbabwe could seek financing where the government can borrow from bilateral arrangements to cover arrears, adding the expected benefits from rejoining the international financial community is higher than the cost of these loans.

Offering another option, Ghanem who revealed the World Bank is eager to support Zimbabwe, said the nation could seek relief under the IMF and World Bank’s heavily indebted poor countries initiatives, although it is a longer process.

The World Bank estimates current gross domestic product in Zimbabwe at about US$17.8 billion, about a third of Tanzania.

Ironically, President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa met the World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January this year.