Zimbabwe economy mars Africa resurgence: IMF

PRETORIA, Nov 6, 2006 (AFP) – Senior International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials Monday said inflation-ravaged Zimbabwe was a dark spot in sub-Saharan Africa, which is otherwise set for higher economic growth next year. “The situation is very bad in Zimbabwe. Inflation is higher than 1,000 percent,” Abdoulaye Bio-Tchane, the director of IMF’s Africa department, said in Pretoria.

The latest IMF report said that “inflation for the region (sub-Saharan Africa) excluding Zimbabwe is projected to fall further to six percent.”

Bio-Tchane said the “the really sad news is that it’s affecting everybody, particularly the vulnerable sections” of society, in Zimbabwe.

Bio-Tchane is part of a top visiting IMF team, including John Lipsky, the first deputy managing director of the bank, which is meeting South African reserve bank officials.

He said Zimbabwe’s “central bank should take all necessary steps including lifting all non-fiscal measures which are obstructing money supply,” adding: “The main tools, the main instruments are in the hands of the Zimbabwe government.

“They know what to do.”

Bio-Tchane said sub-Saharan Africa was projected to have six percent growth with the figure rising to 10 percent for o