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Zimbabwe Business News

Zimbabwe becomes fashionable once more: The battered and moribund Zimbabwean economy is once again showing signs of life. It’s too early to tell if the unity government will survive or if these are the false ‘green shoots’ seen elsewhere in the world, but a snapshot of South Africa’s trade with Zimbabwe is illustrative.

South Africa generally accounts for roughly 50% of Zimbabwe’s recorded trade and probably has a far higher percentage of actual trade as much is unrecorded across the borders, particularly for consumer goods. South Africa’s exports to Zimbabwe doubled year on year in Q1 from 2006 to 2009, illustrating that there are still pockets of economic activity in the country. Of more interest however, is that year on year growth in the first quarter of 2009 was 45% up in value terms over 2008 – a sure sign that things are changing.

Much of the growth is related to exports of basic grains and prepared foodstuffs as both donor and commercial food distribution resume a degree of normality, but exports of capital goods and base metals and articles have picked up pace since the unity government came into being. These are direct inputs into the mining and manufacturing sectors and it bodes well for a recovery in the economy – assuming the political situation continues to improve.

It is against this background that we have decided to launch Zimbabwe Business News, an essential tool for business people interested in Zimbabwe.

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