Zimbabwe growth downgraded as severe drought weighs on

Zimbabwe has downgraded its 2024 economic growth forecast to 2 per cent from 3.5 per cent, due to an El Niño-induced drought causing widespread crop failure, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube told Reuters on Wednesday.

The worst drought in decades has severely impacted crop yields, with Zimbabwe and neighbouring countries Zambia and Malawi declaring states of disaster.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also expects Zimbabwe’s growth to fall to 2 per cent from 5.3 per cent last year. Despite the current challenges, Ncube anticipates growth to rebound to above 5 per cent in 2025.

The drought has led to a 72 per cent drop in maize production for the 2023/2024 season, necessitating the import of 1.4 million metric tons of grain. Zimbabwe received $32 million in drought insurance from an African Union agency and has appealed for international food aid.

Ncube will present the mid-term budget review later this month.

Attribution: Reuters

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