Zim crisis derails regional plans

GABORONE - The effects of Zimbabwe's economic meltdown are beginning to be felt by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) amid fears the bloc could miss its regional integration targets.
The Zimbabwe crisis threatens to derail the region's plans to move towards a free trade area by 200

8 and a customs union two years later. The majority of member states have managed to tighten their monetary policies and maintain low inflation rates at single digits.
Countries such as Angola and Zambia, which used to have high inflation rates, managed to halve inflation on the back of less expansionary fiscal policies and currency appreciation.
“Zimbabwe, on the other hand is going the opposite direction. In fact, the effects of its high inflation on the region are such that the regional average shot to 23 percent against 10.8 percent if the country’s figures were not factored in,” a senior SADC official told ZimOnline on condition he was not named.
The average real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of five percent in 2005 indicates an overall increase in the macroeconomic performance of SADC countries despite the disparities among member states.
Angola had the highest growth rate at 15.6 percent, followed by Botswana at 8.3 percent, Mozambique at 7.7 percent and Tanzania at 6.9 percent GDP growth. – ZimOnline

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