independence and sanctions.jpgThe University of Zimbabwe has conducted an extensive research on the economic impact of sanctions on Zimbabwe across all sectors and is validating findings before publishing the book which will also be used to help inform government on how to deal with similar challenges in the future.

Government through the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development has welcomed the research efforts by the UZ and implored all institutions of higher learning to spearhead research which shapes the economic as well as legislative policies of the country.

The UZ’s Research on the Economic Impact of Sanctions on Zimbabwe which commenced last year in March is now at validation stage with stakeholders meeting in the capital this Wednesday to share their findings as well as discuss on additional input ahead of publishing the outcome.

Research Technical Coordinator Professor Albert Makochekanwa, who is also Chairperson of the Economics Department, said the research covered the impact of economic sanctions on trade and finance and the findings pointed to a number of other factors over and above sanctions for having contributed to the collapse of the economy, including failure to pay the balance of payment to the Bretton Woods institutions which began before sanctions and led to the country earning a bad reputation for lending.

His sentiments were shared by Dr Hodson Makurira the Head of the Engineering Department whose focus was on the impact on infrastructure and mining.

Funding for the health sector started dwindling as way back as the days of the economic structural adjustment programme (ESAP) and the untenable administration costs in the health sector which account for more than 70 percent also contributed to the downturn.

Government innovations such as the AIDS Levy and health tax on airtime must thus be commended.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Dr Desire Sibanda commended the institution for coming up with the first such research and encouraged universities to be at the fore of stimulating policy formulation that can move the nation forward through academic debate.

The research focuses on the economic impact of sanctions on Zimbabwe with a bias towards finance and trade, livelihoods, agriculture, environment, climate and water, infrastructure, mining and mineral processing, human and animal health sector, manufacturing and tourism, ICT, energy sector, gender and marginalised groups, and the legal aspect of the sanctions.