Zimbabwe Review

Reflections on Zimbabwe

When you’ve lost hope, you’ve lost everything

Posted by CM on June 20, 2007

The Reuters report below is not really surprising :

Zimbabwe business pessimistic about recovery – survey

Fewer than 5 percent of Zimbabwe’s industrialists believe the country will recover from its deepening economic crisis in the next three years, a survey showed on Wednesday. The southern African country is in its eighth successive year of recession, marked by the world’s highest inflation rate at above 3,700 percent and which has left four in five people without jobs and people struggling to feed their families.

The survey, which covered the period from 2008 to 2010, showed that among business executives in the manufacturing sector, “the percentage of optimists (on the recovery of the economy) has now dropped to 4.8 percent in 2006, halving from 9 percent in 2005.”

The manufacturing sector contributes 15.5 percent to Zimbabwe’s gross domestic product, compared with 24 percent a decade ago. It has been hit by shortages of electricity and foreign currency as well a skewed exchange rate and government price controls. “We are in a crisis … we no longer have an industry to talk about. We have de-industrialised ourselves,” said Callisto Jokonya, head of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI).

What is not surprising is the level of pessimism given the bleak business and economic environment in Zimbabwe today and over the last several years. Unfortunately, also not surprising is the fact that this is the sort of angle an outfit like Reuters would just love to play up.

But certainly, assuming nothing changes in the political situation, there is little or nothing for a Zimbabwean businessperson to be hopeful about. Without some kind of positive movement in the political sphere, the indicators are not good.

That there are still many holding on to their businesses, doing the best they can in an impossible situation, is actually an indication of hope for change that is not reflected in the survey.


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