A US-based financial website has placed Zimbabwe among the 12 most advanced countries in Africa able to use their natural resources to boost their economies.
In a recent report posted on its website, Insider Money, an organisation headquartered in New York, based its findings on the 2022 World Intellectual Property Organisation’s Global Innovation Index to sift the countries that are the most advanced ones out of the 56 sovereign states in Africa.
The WIPO Global Innovation Index ranked Zimbabwe the 11th most advanced country in Africa and 106th globally.
South Africa is ranked first in Africa while Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, is conspicuous by its absence from the list which considers the optimum use of natural resources as the yardstick.
The others in the top African 12 are Côte d’Ivoire (12), Tanzania (10), Senegal (9), Namibia (8), Ghana (7), Egypt (6), Kenya (5), Botswana (4), Tunisia (3), and Morocco (2).
The report stated that Africa was one of the richest continents in the world when it came to natural resources, with vast resources of valuable metals such as cobalt, gold, platinum, and coltan — a tantalite ore.
The WIPO GII while referencing ‘low level industrialisation’, spoke of the services sector, the complex informal sector and the country’s resource-richness.
“The Republic of Zimbabwe is a landlocked southern African country with a US$38 billion GDP. Its economy is primarily fuelled by the services sector, due to low levels of industrialisation. Additionally, Zimbabwe also has the world’s second largest informal economy according to the International Monetary Fund.
“These are economies that remain undocumented as their transactions are generally conducted outside the formal banking system, which keeps them off of the authorities’ radar. Zimbabwe is also rich in natural resources such as gold, coal, and iron ore,” the report says.
The report noted that Zimbabwe’s economy had huge potential given that it is ranked ahead of Côte d’Ivoire which has a higher GDP at US$137 billion compared to its US$38 billion.
Political and economic commentator Mr Goodwine Mureriwa said the ranking was a vote of confidence in Government policies.
“This shows that Government policies are bearing fruit in spite of the difficult circumstances brought about by the illegal sanctions on the country.
“Zimbabwe has the potential to be a bigger economy with the resources it has, if the yoke of the sanctions is removed,” he said.
The Government has prioritised the use of the country’s vast mineral resources to spur development with the mining industry expected to contribute US$12 billion by the end of 2023.
Several new mining ventures have been opened while some existing ones have been expanded. Such operations are mainly in the lithium, platinum, gold, chrome, nickel, diamonds, and iron and steel sectors.