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Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa

GOVERNMENT LAUDS NDS 1 PERFOMANCE

By Vimbai Kamoyo

The Zimbabwe government has expressed satisfaction on the performance last year of its former economic blue print, the national development strategy 1.

Speaking on her traditional post cabinet press briefing, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa said the government was pleased with the progression last year of the national development strategy 1 despite the adverse effects of COVID 19, which curtailed a number of projects.

“Cabinet considered and adopted the 2021 Second Half–Year Performance Report of the National Development Strategy 1: 2021-2025 (NDS) as presented by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Prof. M.  (Mthuli) Ncube.

“The nation is advised that implementation of NDS1 has largely been successful despite the adverse effects of the COVID-19 and the exchange rate induced inflationary pressures in the economy. The second half-year performance report highlights the progress registered by all the 14 National Priorities.

“On the economic growth front, the national GDP growth for 2021 stood at 7.8%, mainly on account of the good 2021 agriculture season, higher international mineral commodities’ prices, a general stable macroeconomic environment that enabled the domestication of some value chain, and better management of the COVID-19 pandemic. Inflation significantly declined from 837.5% in July 2020 to 60.7% in December 2021.

“The Auction System ensured a stable exchange rate and an uninterrupted supply of foreign currency to the economy. The external sector remained favourable due to inter-alia strong performance of exports, diaspora remittances as well as other services of foreign currency in the economy,” said Mutsvangwa.

 On food security the affable minister said on the balance of scale the country had adequate supply of their nutritional needs.

“Pertaining to food and nutrition security, Cabinet reports that a total of 2 717 171 metric tonnes of maize was produced in the 2020/2021 agricultural season against a national requirement of 2.2 million metric tonnes.

Production of milk over national requirements stood at 46%. Beef production as a percentage of national requirements stood at 79% against a target of 46% resulting in a positive variance of 33%. In order to improve animal nutrition, Government has put in place the Livestock Growth Plan

“The Food Deficit Mitigation Strategy Programme distributed 8 910.17 metric tonnes to 1.443 million households during the second half of 2021. Under the Harmonized Social Cash Transfer programme, Government continued supporting 78 000 households, while Development Partner UNICEF is reaching out to 9 725 households with Emergency Social Cash Transfers,” she said.

She said the government was working on improving the country’s image which was battered by the international community after it embarked on its controversial land reform in 2 000.

The country earned the tag of pariah state after it was deemed intolerant to divergent views.

“On image building, Cabinet advises that Government efforts saw eight community radio stations being licensed in September 2021, bringing to fourteen such radio broadcasters to promote diversity and plurality. AIPPA was repealed and replaced with the Freedom of Information Act.

The youths and school children, the minister said, had their share of the national cake.

“Regarding youth, sport, arts and culture a total of 22 000 youths have accessed empowerment opportunities’ in all sector. Further a total of 25 out of 27 training centres were refurbished.

“The BEAM (Basic Education Assistance Module) programme reached out to 1 015 000 vulnerable children with educational assistance from both Government and Development Partners for primary and secondary as at 13 the December 2021.

“A total of 388 students with disabilities were supported with vocational fees in institutions of higher learning, whilst 171 individuals were supported with assistive devices as of the end of November 2021.

“In addition, 2 450 persons with disabilities were supported through institutions with administration grants. Furthermore, for the State Service (Disability) Benefits for injury/death on duty for government employees cumulative claims processed for payment was 1 045 as at

December 2021,” she said.

She said tourists arrivals fell far short of the targeted number.

“A total of 370 676 tourist arrivals were recorded against a target of 1.1 million during the first half of 2021. Regarding tourism investment, US$141.2 million was recorded against a target of US$280 million. Current performance on investment is attributed to Tourism rebates put in place by Government to assist the growing appetite to invest in the tourism sector.

“Cabinet reports that successful implementation of the NDS1 requires full participation and commitment of all stakeholders through the Thematic Working Groups which were established during the NDS1 formulation process, comprising Government and Non-State Actors’ representatives and Evaluation Framework of the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1),” said the genial minister.

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