Sub-Saharan economies to register growth


The sub-Saharan economy is expected to grow by 5½% this year and a further 6% next year due to recovery from the slowdown experienced in the region recently, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said. Zimbabwe’s economy is expected to grow by more than 9% this year.

IMF’s Africa department director Antoinette Monsio Sayeh said fiscal policies in the region would move from the supportive stance although there is need for fiscal support by other countries to poor households hit by rising food prices.

“Monetary policy remains looser than desirable in many low-income countries in the region, even before the recent surge in food and fuel prices. To counter incipient inflationary pressures, monetary policy will need to be tightened, particularly where growth has already regained pre-crisis levels,” said Sayeh.

“The recent renewed increases in food and fuel prices have imposed further hardships on the region’s poorest households. Looking ahead, the global price shocks (and the region’s fast recovery) are also likely to lead to higher inflation and, in a number of fuel importers, to deteriorating current account deficits.”

A local economic analyst, John Robertson, said Zimbabwe’s economy would grow in terms of commodities’ prices because of favourable prices on minerals such as gold, chrome and ferrochrome that the country is producing.

“We will be importing food paying a high price. The money gained from selling gold and other commodities at high price will be used to import maize at high prices,” said Robertson.

He said if the country had food surplus it would benefit and grow like other countries in the region.

Robertson said countries such as Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania were moving towards the attainment of Millennium Development Goals but Zimbabwe was lagging behind.