Zimbabwe is this year expected to register the fourth fastest growth rate in Africa amid indications that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has also revised the country’s economic prospects, it has been learnt.
According to the African Development Bank (AfDB)’s African Economic Outlook 2011 report, Zimbabwe will this year record a 7,8% economic growth. The average growth on the continent is expected to be 3,7%.
Top on the list is Ghana with 12% followed by Ethiopia with 10% while Mozambique, Botswana and Liberia are expected to record economic growth of 7,7%, 6,9% and 7,3% respectively.
An official with the Ministry of Finance yesterday revealed the IMF delegation that came into the country had also reviewed upwards the country’s economic growth from its initial 5,5% to 7,8% by year end.
“Commodity prices are a strong driver in the economic growth. Prices of gold and copper have been on an upward trend since 2009 and are expected to continue in that direction,” said AfDB resident representative Mahamudu Bawumia.
“African economies have weathered the global crisis relatively well and have rebounded in 2010.
“Recent political events in North Africa and high food and fuel prices are likely to slow the continent’s growth down to 3,7% in 2011.”
According to the report, countries in sub-Saharan Africa would grow faster than those in North Africa. The report, however, predicts a rebound to 5,8% growth next year.
Among the top 10 slowest growing economies are Ivory Coast and Libya with negative growth projections of 7,3% and 19% respectively.
AfDB said the continent had gone through a remarkable decade of economic transformation.
South Africa remained Zimbabwe’s largest trading partner dominating imports and exports and traditionally being the largest foreign investor.
The report said China had surpassed the United States as the continent’s main trading partner.
The continent’s top five emerging trade partners were identified as China, India, Korea, Brazil and Turkey.