- Given a moderation in the pace of agricultural growth, the Mozambican government's economic program for 2003 assumes a real GDP growth of about 7 percent. Despite the ongoing drought and food crisis, last year had seen an economic growth of 7.7 percent.
According to a "Letter of Intent" of the Mozambican government, published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today, economic growth remains strong in the poor, southern African country.
Luísa Dias Diogo, Mozambique's Minister of Planning and Finance, says that economic developments in the country in general had been "favourable, with real GDP growth estimated at 7.7 percent in 2002."
- Construction activity associated with large-scale foreign investment projects has been very strong, Ms Dias holds, "while agricultural output growth is estimated at 8 ½ percent in 2002 owing to a continued recovery in food crops from the effects of the 2000 floods and important increases in some cash crops, particularly sugar."
Also this year was to see substantial growth, Minister Dias says. "With a moderation in the pace of agricultural growth, the government's economic program for 2003 assumes a real GDP growth of about 7 percent." The ongoing drought thus only marginally affects the Mozambican economy.
Mozambique has noted substantial economic growth during the last decade, marked by peace and political stability. After decades of war, Mozambique had ended up the world's poorest and least developed country. According to the latest human development index, however, Mozambique has bypassed five countries, now ranking 170 out of 175 countries worldwide.
On economic policies for 2003, Ms Dias said that "important steps" were to be taken "to strengthen the health of the banking system." In this regard, the progress made by the Banco Internacional de Moçambique (BIM) to improve its financial position and increase its operational efficiency was to be "monitored closely."
Further, the government had decided to accelerate plans for public sector reform, focusing on decentralising government activities, addressing corruption, and improving the effectiveness of the civil service through training and salary reforms. By August 2003, all ministries were expected to complete a mapping of current operations and an identification of those areas that should be restructured.
The Mozambican government has stuck closely to the economic policies prescribed by the World Bank and IMF. Only two weeks ago, therefore, IMF Deputy Managing Director Shigemitsu Sugisaki stated that Mozambican authorities were to be "commended for a continued satisfactory performance."
According to the latest IMF review of the country's economy, the Mozambican government's economic programme for 2003 was seeking to "sustain rapid growth by maintaining prudent macroeconomic policies and deepening structural reforms." The IMF had "welcomed the important measures."
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.