July 19, 2011

World Bank confirms economic growth, says minister

Bank of Zambia (BoZ) Governor Caleb Fundanga has said the surge in Zambia's economic growth has been confirmed by the World Bank's reclassification of Zambia as a middle-income State. According to Fundanga Zambia was now among the elite group such as South Africa, Namibia and Botswana within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and people who doubted the country's economic upswing should now support the development. In an interview, the central bank governor also said Zambia had been measured using the parameters that were employed when the rest of the countries in the same grade were assessed. He said that per capita income for Zambia had risen from between US$1,000 to $3,000 and the Government was now aiming to reach the higher bracket where per capita income ranged between $3,000 to $12,000 while countries with higher figures of per capita income were classified as high-income nations.

Zambia and Ghana are now ranked 27th and 28th among 63 countries which the World Bank has reclassified as middle-income countries since the year 2000. Low-income countries are those with the average gross national incomes (GNIs) of less than $1,005 per person annually.

As Fundanga claims, Zambia's progress had been made following heavy investment in the mining industry while the prices of copper had risen, apart from the jobs created by the mining sector. Furthermore, improved agricultural produce had ensured that poverty alleviation efforts went to areas that needed most attention by ensuring food security and availability, he added He said apart from heavy investment in the mines, new ones had been opened, thereby creating more jobs and increasing per capita income for the Zambian people. He also noted that the parameters used to reclassify countries were the same everywhere and hoped that people who had doubted the country's economic growth would now realise that development taking place in the country was real. (Times of Zambia)

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