Thursday, December 10, 2009

Zimbabwe's Economy Taking on a Positive Turn?

The Beep reported last week that there could be a positive turn in Zimbabwe's economy. The article stated: "Zimbabwe's first budget since its unity government began sharing power 10 months ago predicts a healthy economic future for the country." This could be the best news the country has heard in a very long time if you ask me. Before moving any further, I should state that I do not support any one party, but it would be a shame for me to not commend Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai for his efforts.

I mention the Prime Minister because although I know Robert Mugabe would've probably loved to be the one to shop around for funding for his ailiing country, Tsvangirai was the one who did. I admire Tsvangirai not for any reason (because I don't know much about the man...yet) other than the fact that his actions in the last couple of months have demonstrated his heart for his country. I remember a meeting with President Barack Obama in June, while on his week-long globe-trotting hunt for money, in which the U.S. president pledged $73 million in aid to Zimbabwe. There was a catch though, or I should say a rule attached to the funds: That the money would not go directly to the government but instead to direct services for the citizens of Zimbabwe. After meeting with Tsvangirai, Obama commented, "We've seen progress from the prime minister," in a report by The Washington Post.

According to Finance Minister Tendai Biti, Zimbabwe's economy will most likely see a growth of 7% next year - a LEAP since the country's decade-long contraction.

The reason I began my post by commending Morgan Tsvangirai was because the world has witnessed the authoritative rule of Mugabe for 29 years; his rule and ineffective policies have led to the downfall of a country that was once promising. It wasn't until a bitter power-sharing government deal was struck in February between Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change party and Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union -Patriotic Front that the world began to see some improvements in the country's economy.

The BBC just reported that Zimbabwe youths are still fleeing the country to South Africa for much better lives, after almost one year since the power-sharing government that was supposed to help rebuild the economy was established. But any economist, although I'm not one, would tell you that one year is a very short time to see recovery. Take the economic recovery process of the U.S., for instance. The country is further ahead of Zimbabwe in all regards yet it'll take more than a year to reach a point of economic equilibrium. How much more Zimbabwe, whose inflation rate or I should say hyper-inflation rate, was reported in July 2008 to be as high as 231,000,000%.

If perhaps more folks like Morgan Tsvangirai hang around to fight for Zimbabwe's best interest, I believe the world will live to see the country spring back to life. Yes, it'll take years, but it's not impossible.

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