Boom times continue
LIKE OL’ MAN RIVER, the Mozambique economy just keeps rolling along.
In the period 1992-2002, the country enjoyed a higher average annual rise (8,4%) in real gross domestic product (GDP) than any other nation except China (misleading recovery situations in Bosnia and Liberia aside). Mozambique continues to boom. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says growth was 7,7% in 2005.
Official Mozambique estimates put the rise in real GDP at 7,9% last year, and forecasts for 2007 are similar.
In the late Eighties, however, Mozambique was a classic “basket case”. There was zero growth – which means a sharp decline on a per capita base – over 1982-92.
This was because of a combination of the devastation of civil war and wretched economic mismanagement by the Marxist Frelimo government, headed for years by Samora Machel.
However, though Frelimo has held on to power – in the mid to late Nineties it was closely pressed by the Renamo opposition, but that challenge has faded – it has long dumped much of its old, destructive hard-line socialism.
As a result, it has risen well off the bottom rung of the poor nations. Kenya, Zambia and Nigeria are among many African countries now trailing Mozambique.
The Economist Intelligence Unit expects consumer price inflation to ease appreciably in Mozambique in 2007 to about 9,6% against 13,2% in 2007.