Speaking at the launch of a new economic forecast report in Harare yesterday, AfDB resident representative to Zimbabwe, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia said the failure by government and other stakeholders in the diamond sector to come up with a clear policy could see Zimbabwe miss out on maximizing gains realized from diamonds.
“We have seen countries squander the boom realised from minerals they discover in their countries,” said Bawumia.
“The whole issue has to be dealt with in such a manner that there are clear policies on the table for all.
The problem that we have realised is that Zimbabwe is not able to export all the diamonds that it has been producing. This has had an effect where the earnings of the country do not reflect in the balance of payment support, clearance of debts with international financiers and many other areas,” Bawumia said.
He added: “If there is a clear policy on how to deal with these diamonds from prospecting, processing, and sale, I am sure Zimbabwe might realise a significant chunk of money from the diamonds and this can actually spur the country’s economy to higher levels.”
According to the new AfDB report released Wednesday and entitled African Economic Outlook: – “Africa and Its Emerging Partners,” Zimbabwe is expected to realise a 7.8% economic growth.
The growth is expected to be spurred by a stable macro-economic environment.
The report also revealed that China had emerged as the biggest trade partner for Africa, trading volumes to the tune of US$93 billion.