BEFORE the year 2000, Zimbabwe’s economy was growing mainly due to the existence of a thriving primary industry, which created a strong background of the financial services sector.
The economy during the 90s was made strong by vibrant manufacturing, agricultural, mining and tourism industries which made the country’s key economic factors more favourable.
In 1997, Zimbabwe’s economy reached a peak when Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose to $25 billion (1990 dollars), earnings from exports exceeded US$3,4 billion and employment was above US$1,4 million.
However, 21 years down the line, GDP has been declining.
Our thriving economy was mainly being fed by the agricultural sector as 70 percent of the inputs used in the manufacturing sector was emanating from Agriculture.”
There was no need for importing food staff from other countries because we added value to our resources to encourage the exportation of goods and this is the main reason why BOP was favourable.
Locally manufactured products used to compete on international levels which also attracted foreign investors to partner with local companies.
However, the country’s economy started changing from a primary economy to a secondary or super market economy where most economic activities are based on retailing on imported goods.
The manufacturing industry is in other words trying to recover from 2000.
The capacity utilisation of the economy was estimated at around 44 percent in 2013 which is a huge decline from the estimated percentage during the years before 2000. Unemployment rate has increased from 30 percent to over 80 percent while BOP is presently at $5 billion.”
The fact that unemployment rate and capacity utilisation has increased is evident that activities from primary industries are declining.
In any country, infrastructural development can be a key indicator in defining the country’s economic structure and in Zimbabwe the dilapidated infrastructure can show how the country has moved from a primary economy to a supermarket.