BERF’s work in Zimbabwe

BERF has completed 4 assignments for DFID Zimbabwe

  1. Annual review of Business Enabling Environment Programme (BEEP). This included identifying future options for the possible extension of the Zimbisa component of the BEEP programme described above.  BERF Report entitled “Future options for Zimbisa, Report to DFID Zimbabwe” was completed April 2016.
  2. The second assignment undertaken by BERF to support the business case extension of the same Zimbisa component of BEEP by examining what works and what does not in PPD programming in Sub Saharan Africa. The BERF report entitled “Public-Private Dialogue Interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa: Lessons for Zimbisa” was completed in October 2016.
  3. A related assignment was undertaken to for an Evidence and Learning Note on Public Private Dialogue to provide a synthesis of the evidence to understand ‘PPD systems, approaches and mechanisms that are more conducive to Business Environment Reform and Investment climate programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa and politically fragile states’.
  4. An evidence and learning assignment has been completed on adaptive programming.  This collates relevant DFID experience adaptive programming from otehr countries and is of broader interest.

BERF remains actively engaged in discussion with BERF Zimbabwe about additional assignments.

Completed Projects


After suffering severe economic decline between 1998 and 2008, Zimbabwe’s adoption of a multicurrency regime in 2009 helped stabilise the economy. Zimbabwe’s economy grew by 3.8% in 2014, 1.5% in 2015 and is projected to have grown at 1.6% in 2016.  22.5% of Zimbabwe’s population of 13 million lives in extreme poverty.

The July 2013 national elections delivered an outright majority for President Mugabe’s party. The UK remains committed to supporting the people of Zimbabwe. Political instability has characterised Zimbabwean policy making and is a significant constraint to inclusive, pro-poor economic growth.  Soon after the 2013 elections, the Government of Zimbabwe produced an ambitious, flagship economic recovery plan called the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation.

In addition to political instability and poor macroeconomic policies, Zimbabwe’s investment climate has been severely damaged by a lack of respect for the rule of law and a deteriorating business enabling environment. Key constraints include a failure to protect property rights and forced “indigenisation” of businesses.  Limited access to capital is hampering the agricultural and agribusiness sectors as well as mining and manufacturing.

DFID Strategy

DFID will continue to align its development efforts where possible to Government strategies such as ZIMASSET, while ensuring that no UK aid goes directly through Government systems due to concerns about their capacity to manage such funds effectively. UK aid is instead channelled through multilateral institutions such as the UN and the WB, as well as international Non-Governmental Organisations and the private sector.

The DFID country programme vision 2011 to 2016 is focused on:

  • Economic development,
  • Basic services including access to health, education and water,
  • Strengthening democracy.

The country programme 2016 – 2017 is valued at £47 million with Health and Education being the biggest commitments.

World Bank Doing Business

The 2017 World Bank Doing Business overall ease of doing business ranking for Zimbabwe is 161 out of 190 countries, a slight increase over its 2015 ranking of 171 out of 189. The Distance to Frontier score was 47.1 in 2017, slightly below the overall Sub-Saharan Africa average of 49.7 and well below Zambia’s 60.4, Botswana’s 65, Mozambique’s 54 and South Africa’s 65).