Calling for economic diversification to promote inclusive pandemic recovery

March 24, 2022 | Harare, Zimbabwe

A team of PEP researchers held a national policy conference to show how targeted fiscal and sectoral support policies can be crucial for protecting vulnerable groups from the effects of the pandemic and help the country to build back better.

March 24, 2022 – A team of PEP researchers held a national policy conference to share their recommendations for promoting an inclusive recovery from the Covid-19 crisis in Zimbabwe.

The team brought together 25 policy stakeholders and advisors, academics, representatives of civil society and the private sector for the event. The key policy stakeholders in attendance were the Chief Coordinator of the National Response to Covid-19, as well as representatives of the Ministries of Health and Child Care, of Industry and Commerce, of Finance and Economic Development, of Defence, and of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development.

Prof. Albert Makochekanwa presented the findings and recommendations from the team’s PEP project investigating policy responses and interventions to promote inclusive adaptation to and recovery from the COVID-19 crisis in Zimbabwe.

He explained that a key challenge of the Covid-19 crisis is simultaneous shocks on supply and demand, domestically and internationally. He highlighted how the pandemic and measures to combat these shocks can increase inequality as the poor and most vulnerable populations experience worsening poverty. Prof. Makochekanwa shared the team’s findings that policy measures need to be carefully targeted to help the country build back better. In particular, he highlighted the importance of:

  1. Designing and implementing policies to protect vulnerable jobs and/or facilitate re-entry into the job market for poor women, and
  2. Implementing policies to diversify the economy, establish well-functioning social protection programs, re-engage with the international economy, and tackle corruption.

The audience showed much interest in the research, asking pertinent questions and sharing how the evidence could be useful for shaping policymaking.

In particular, Dr Agnes Mahomva, Chief Coordinator of the National Response to Covid-19, stated that the team’s findings would be used to fine tune strategies by her department as it continues to prepare guidelines on the implementation of responses to the pandemic.

Similarly, Mrs. Bridget Dzimwasha, Director at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said the recommendations from the study will inform and improve the Ministry’s development of recovery plans for the production firms that have been worst affected by the crisis.

The scenarios presented in the study will also be useful for informing the Government’s financial programming in response to the pandemic, according to Mr. Charles Mujajati, Director at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

Three journalists attended the event, including from Business Weekly, underlining the public interest in the team’s results and recommendations.

The research team organized the event with financial and advisory support from PEP.


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