Harare, Zimbabwe, 31 March 2022 – The Mayor of Harare, His Worship Councillor Stewart Mutizwa, has underscored economic recovery from COVID-19 as a priority for the city’s stabilisation plan in a meeting with a delegation from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), led by Ms. Edlam Yemeru, acting Director of ECA’s Gender, Poverty and Social Policy Division, with both parties agreeing to their deepen collaboration.
Held in Harare on 28 March, the meeting was attended by the executive leadership of the city, including the acting town clerk and councillors.
Since 2020, ECA has provided assistance to Harare for the formulation of its Economic Recovery and Resilience plan in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is expected to be adopted by the city’s executive leadership (council) as an input to the city’s stabilisation plan, which will operationalise priority action areas.
The Acting Town Clerk, Engineer Phakamile Moyo, welcomed ECA’s delegation, commended ECA’s ongoing support and called for continued ECA support for the city’s efforts towards rebuilding from the pandemic and withstanding future economic shocks.
Speaking at the meeting, Ms. Edlam Yemeru said: “Harare was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, necessitating urgent action for financial and economic recovery. As a result, Harare’s local monthly revenue collections averaged 45-48 per cent of the potential collection in 2020. Harare’s economic recovery and resilience plan, supported by ECA, outlines priority interventions to minimise future economic and financial vulnerabilities, while fostering improved performance.”
Specifically, the economic recovery and resilience plan calls for the strengthening of efforts to formalise the city’s economy, raise domestic revenue and create employment opportunities for Harare’s future economic and financial resilience.
The deliberations further considered the economic weight of Harare reflected through an estimation study of its city GDP for the first time, supported by ECA. The results of the study showed that Harare generated as much as 37 per cent of Zimbabwe’s annual gross domestic product (GDP), implying its critical role in COVID-19 recovery as well as future inclusive economic growth of the country.
During the discussions, it was further emphasised that Harare, like most cities in Africa, has a large informal economy, which makes it more vulnerable to economic shocks. On one hand, informal workers are hard to be identified and covered by social protection measures, whilst on the other, this has implications for the city’s revenues and capacity to invest in public services. This will be a key focus area for the city as it implements its stabilization plan in response to COVID-19 and pursues deeper collaboration with ECA.
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Tel: +251 11 551 5826