NDS1 surpasses targets in 14 key result areas

MOST of the targets set for implementation under the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) have been met and significant progress made across all the 14 thematic priority areas, the NDS1 mid-term review concept note seen by The Herald has shown.

The NDS1 is the first five-year National Development Plan towards Vision 2030, of an empowered upper middle-income economy envisioned by President Mnangagwa, which leaves no one and no place behind.

Under the first five-year development agenda, the targeted areas included economic growth and stability, food and nutrition security, governance, human capital development, environmental protection, housing delivery, digital economy, health, infrastructure development, international engagement and re-engagement, social protection and devolution.

It preceded the successfully implemented two-year Transitional Stabilisation Programme which outlined policies, strategies and projects guiding Zimbabwe’s social and economic development interventions and laying a base for economic growth.

This year marks the mid-point in the implementation of NDS1, the second of three successive National Development Plans towards the realisation of Vision 2030.

The mid-term review process of the NDS1 was inclusive and consultative, involving a broad range of stakeholders from Government, business, labour, academia, civil society, as well as development partners.

“The country undertook the mid-term review of the National Development Strategy 1 over March-June 2023, to evaluate performance with implementation during 2021 to mid-year 2023,” reads part of the review concept note.

“The review offers opportunity for stock taking of highlights of progress and identification of gaps, that way indicating areas for remedial action or the full realisation of NDS1 objectives during the remainder of implementing the strategy.

“Notwithstanding external global shocks which were experienced during implementation of NDS1 from 2021, the economy remains resilient and on a positive growth trajectory.

“During the first half of NDS1, the economy exhibited high performance, with real GDP growth of 8.5 percent in 2021, 6.5 percent in 2022 and 6.2 percent in the first quarter of 2023, anchored on agriculture and mining sectors.”

“This propelled Zimbabwe’s performance to among the faster regional growing economies.”

The review noted that a number of policy measures were introduced by the Second Republic, in order to engender macro-economic stability, with average annual inflation declining from 557 percent in 2020 to 98.5 percent in 2021.

The favourable performance was attributable to the introduction of the foreign exchange auction system in mid-2020, which reduced the negative influence of parallel exchange rate determination on pricing developments.

“Challenges related to commodity price shocks, mainly driven by geo-political tensions, underpinned a rise in the annual average rate of inflation in 2022.”

These saw an increase in fuel prices, imported agriculture and wanton forward pricing while speculative tendencies by unscrupulous dealers exacerbated the situation.

On food and nutrition security, the country remained on-track to achieve food security, self-sufficiency, as well as nutrition security by 2025 despite challenges posed by the continued devastating effects of climate change.

The Covid-19 pandemic effects were minimised on food security after the sector was allowed to continue food production activities, and production support continued on farms during lockdowns.

“The quest for self-sufficiency in maize production saw overall output go up from 907 629 tonnes in 2020 to 2.7 million tonnes in 2021, well in excess of NDS1 targeted levels of 1.8 million tonnes.”

Also, the manufacturing sector is recording gains in capacity utilisation evidenced by increased availability of domestically produced goods on supermarket shelves accounting for about 80 percent, while capacity utilisation increased from 36.4 percent registered in 2020 to 66 percent in 2022.

Positive gains were experienced with regard to the mining value chains with earnings from beneficiated minerals increasing from US$1.157 billion in 2020 to US$4.6 billion in 2022.

In the education sector, challenges posed by Covid-19 induced restrictions meant that the sector adopted a blended learning model to support teaching methods during the pandemic.

“Furthermore, the reconfiguration of Education 5.0, complemented by the construction of supporting education infrastructure, has increased innovative and industrialisation learning opportunities.

“During the first half of NDS1 implementation, 62 percent of the population had access to electricity, surpassing the set targets of 42 percent.”

The number of housing units completed and fully serviced at end December 2022 stood at 153 308 and 190 760, respectively, giving a total delivery of 344 068 across all provinces.

In terms of access to water and sanitation services, 96 percent of the urban population and 64 percent of rural population had access to basic water services, while 51,1 percent of the urban population and 54 percent of the rural population had access to basic sanitation services.

“Improvement in the health delivery system also saw the country realise positive strides in the development of open heart and hip replacement surgeries.

“These will go a long way in benefiting the health and well-being of citizens previously unable to access such health services.

“During the review process, stakeholders under each of the 14 thematic areas critically reviewed and revised their strategies as outlined in this Mid-Term Review and committed to strengthening collaboration under the Whole of Government and Whole of Societal approaches in order to accelerate implementation of programmes and projects that deliver on NDS1 national outcomes during the last half of implementation, up to the end of 2025.”

Herald

Positive Eye News

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