Life could be better in Zimbabwe in 2020 – the country now has enough foreign currency for all its fuel, power and food needs


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The coming year, 2020, could see significant change in Zimbabwe if the country manages is foreign currency properly because the country will have enough foreign to meet its import requirements for fuel, power and food.

Economist Eddie Cross says Zimbabwe is no longer short of foreign exchange.

“In 2019, the fundamental reforms implemented under the TSP  (transitional stabilization programme) have given a huge boost to our export industries and official inflows of hard currency has exceeded our needs for the very first time in many years,” he wrote on his personal blog.

“My estimate is that total receipts this year will exceed US$7 billion while direct imports of all our essentials will only reach US$5.6 billion.

“If I value all the critical commodity imports listed above, (fuel, power, basic food),  the cost comes to about US$200 million a month – well within our capabilities.

“But in every field you have State Owned Entities that are deeply corrupt and technically bankrupt. Without any credibility in the market place. They cannot order supplies from anyone without cash in hand and that they simply do not have.

“What we do have is a functioning private sector with a decent balance sheet and reputation. We have to switch procurement of these essential commodities to the private sector and use the infrastructure of the SOE’s to deal with logistics and storage,” he says.

Full blog

It cannot be Business as Usual in 2020

If there is one thing our leadership has to understand as we approach Christmas this year, it is that in 2020, we cannot continue to do things the way they have been done in the past decade. We go out of 2019 with so many areas of failure in terms of policy and activity that it is difficult to pick them out and deal with them one by one. So this weekly letter is going to cover my personal wish list for my country in 2020.

The first item are these wretched shortages – fuel, power, food basics. Once any product is in short supply you lose control of its price and distribution. In addition, these particular commodities are critical to everything we do and live on. We are no longer short of foreign exchange. In 2019, the fundamental reforms implemented under the TSP have given a huge boost to our export industries and official inflows of hard currency has exceeded our needs for the very first time in many years. My estimate is that total receipts this year will exceed US$7 billion while direct imports of all our essentials will only reach US$5,6 billion.

If I value all the critical commodity imports listed above, the cost comes to about US$200 million a month – well within our capabilities. But in every field you have State Owned Entities that are deeply corrupt and technically bankrupt. Without any credibility in the market place. They cannot order supplies from anyone without cash in hand and that they simply do not have. What we do have is a functioning private sector with a decent balance sheet and reputation. We have to switch procurement of these essential commodities to the private sector and use the infrastructure of the SOE’s to deal with logistics and storage.

Continued next page

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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