Chinese assistance helps Zimbabwe fight against pandemic, develop economy

By Tichaona Chifamba, Zhang Yuliang (Xinhua) 10:46, December 25, 2021

HARARE, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- The assistance from China has helped Zimbabwe not only fight the COVID-19 pandemic, but also develop its economy against pandemic-induced headwinds.


Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, China has donated the critically needed ventilators, personal protective supplies, and batches of vaccines to assist Zimbabwe's fight against the pandemic.

With China's medical aid, Zimbabwe was able to fully vaccinate a total of 3,088,672 people, while 4,078,669 others had received their first of two doses.

China donated the latest consignment of vaccines to Zimbabwe on Monday following a pledge at the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) to provide another 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Africa, so as to help achieve the African Union goal of vaccinating 60 percent of the African population by 2022.

The donation from China would help the country boost its vaccination program, Zimbabwe's Vice President, who is also the health minister, Constantino Chiwenga said.

"Indeed, Zimbabwe is grateful that it is among the first countries to receive COVID-19 vaccine donations from China under this new initiative," Chiwenga said.

He also noted that China and Zimbabwe enjoyed excellent relations featuring a comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation.


China continued to provide assistance to Zimbabwe in areas of infrastructural development, including telecommunications, energy and agriculture.

Some of the major works currently underway include expansion of the Hwange Thermal Power Station, Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport expansion, and the construction of the new parliament building.

"We take time and pay many attentions to detail on such a great design," contractor China Jiangsu International said in a statement recently.

The company is modernizing the airport to boost its annual passenger handling capacity to 6 million from 2.5 million.

A state-of-the-art National Pharmaceutical Warehouse with China's assistance is also under construction in Harare and is due for completion in March 2022.

Assistance from China has also helped rural communities with provision of potable water.

In a recent interview, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa called for more cooperation between the two countries.

She said Zimbabwe found FOCAC to be the only viable way to boost its economy, especially in the face of economic sanctions by the West.

Zimbabwe was eager to partner with China in the joint production of COVID-19 vaccines, she said, adding that the government welcomed China's investment in agricultural development and solar energy.


The country's economy continued to grow this year, despite of the impact of the pandemic.

Its GDP is expected to grow with a good 2020/21 agricultural season, and Finance and Development Minister Mthuli Ncube expected further growth of about 5.5 percent in 2022.

The manufacturing sector is expected to grow at 61 percent by the end of this year, up from 47 percent in 2020 and 36.4 percent in 2019, the Zimbabwe Statistics Agency has said.

However, inflationary pressures continued to weigh on citizens as prices of basic commodities continued to rise throughout the year, despite an array of measures taken by monetary authorities.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe had predicted that prices would fall during the year, but this was not to be the case as traders pegged their prices on the much higher foreign currency parallel market rates compared to the official rates.

(Web editor: Zhao Tong, Bianji)


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