New Zim Leader Mnangagwa makes Zambia his 5th SADC Country to Visit
Perhaps in order of how significant his regime views the regional states, he made Namibia his third destination where he conferred with Dr. Hage Geingob after which on Wednesday 10th January visited Mozambique for a day to apprise fellow leaders on the political changes that have taken place in the country.
In Mozambique, Mnangagwa met his counterpart Fillipe Nyusi as well as Zimbabwean business people based in that country. Zambia was then the 5th country he dated on a working visit Mnangagwa held closed door meetings with his Zambian counterpart and sought advice on key issues affecting his country, this was disclosed by Presidential aide Amos Chanda in an interview.
Having ascended to power by the army through what has come to be termed as ‘a soft coup’‚ Mnangagwa went ahead and rewarded army generals with top cabinet posts‚ which some of his critics have described as militarizing the country.
Mnangagwa, who has taken over from Robert Mugabe who is among Africa’s well-spoken and internationally recognized controversial figure has big shoes to fill. To help shore up his international image, Mnangagwa set his eyes on engaging the international community with his first official trip abroad last week to the World Economic Forum - WEF - in Davos‚ Switzerland. His presidential spokesperson has also announced his plans to visit China sometime in April 2018.
Meanwhile, Mnangagwa who in his early life before Zimbabwe gained independence was educated and live in Zambia were he even worked briefly before returning to his home country Zimbabwe, He was educated and has his first degree from the University of Zambia. Zambia and Zimbabwe have strong economic and political ties dating back to the time of liberalization struggle for independence from the British colonial rule. Zambia succeeded in getting independence ahead of Zimbabwe in October 1964 while Zimbabwe was to later gain independence after a fierce battle later on in 1980. The Zambian government then led by former president and pan Africanist Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda extended support to the indolence struggle in Zimbabwe.
Even during the time of economic hardships in Zimbabwe as former leader Mugabe was subjected to sanctions by the international community, Zambia extended its doors to Zimbabweans to trade and work in Zambia. Today, Zambia has a sizable population of Zimbabwean traders, farmers and experts working in various industries. Zambia and Zimbabwe can look to strengthening economic ties by agreeing tangible trade deals between the two countries. The trip Zambia allowed Mnangagwa to reunite with his former class mates to include the chief justice and his good friends like former Vice President Enock Kavindele. Mnangagwa shared tales on how he was recruited in UNIP and was involved in burning of property a little trip down memory lane. Mnangagwa departed Zambia at 18.30 aboard a Boeing 737 Air Zimbabwe. Zambia’s foreign affairs minister clarified why Mnangagwa was not accorded a 21-gun salute, citing the visit as being working and a state one which most critics had already started to question. OPEC is implementing supply cuts which has seen crude rise to levels not seen in years. WTI is trading for $USD64/bbl. while Brent futures are trading for $USD70/bbl. This news changes fortunes for Angola, Nigeria, Gabon, South Sudan and Ghana. Other commodities that have seen strong rallies are copper that recorded a 35% rise to $7,188/ton and Cobalt that climbed to a 129% height to close 2017 at $USD75,500/ton. This is good news for Congo DRC and Zambia.
Nevertheless, across all EMDEs, room for policy improvements remains.
Policy initiatives to lift physical and human capital, encourage labor force participation, and improve institutions could help raise potential growth and reduce inequality.
A broad-based cyclical global recovery is underway, aided by a rebound in investment and trade, against the backdrop of financing conditions, generally accommodative policies, improved confidence, and the dissipating impact of the earlier commodity price collapse.
Global growth is expected to be sustained over the next couple of years—and even accelerate somewhat in EMDE’s thanks to a rebound in commodity exporters.
Although near-term growth could surprise on the upside, the global outlook is still subject to substantial downside risks, including the possibility of financial stress, increased protectionism, and rising geopolitical tensions.
Particularly worrying are longer-term risks and challenges associated with subdued productivity and potential growth. With output gaps closing or already closed in many countries, supporting aggregate demand with the use of cyclical policies is becoming less of a priority.
Focus should now turn to the structural policies needed to boost potential growth and living standards. Regional Perspectives.
Growth in most EMDE regions with large numbers of commodity exporters recovered in 2017, with the notable exception of the Middle East and North Africa, mainly due to oil production cuts.
These regions are generally expected to see faster growth during the forecast horizon, as commodity prices rise and the impact of the earlier terms of trade shock diminishes.
The robust pace of expansion in EMDE regions with a substantial number of commodity importers is expected to continue. Risks to the outlook have become more balanced in some regions, but continue to tilt down in all of them.
Global Economic Prospects includes a chapter on the sources of slowing global potential growth and policy options to raise it, as well as two special focus pieces on the impact of the 2014-16 oil price collapse and the potential implications of improving education formal equality.
Building Solid Foundations: How to Promote Potential Growth. Despite a recent acceleration of global economic activity, potential output growth is flagging.
At 2.5%, 2013-17 potential growth was 0.5% point below its longer term average and 0.9% points below its average a decade ago, with an even steeper decline in EMDEs.
More than one-half of the deceleration reflects weaker-than-average rates of capital accumulation, but weaker total factor productivity growth and demographic trends have also played a role.
These forces are not expected to diminish over the next decade and, unless countered, will depress global and EMDE potential growth further by 0.2% and 0.5% points, respectively, over the next decade.
Policy initiatives to lift physical and human capital, encourage labor force participation, and improve institutions could help reverse this trend.
With the Benefit of Hindsight: The Impact of the 2014-16 Oil Price Collapse.
The 2014-16 collapse in oil prices was one of the largest in modern history, but failed to provide an expected boost to global growth.
The short-term benefits of falling oil prices to global growth were muted by several factors, including the low responsiveness of activity in key oil-importing emerging markets, economic rebalancing in China, and the dampening impact of a sharp contraction in energy investment and a rapid appreciation of the U.S. dollar on growth in the United States.
Among oil-exporting countries, those with flexible exchange rates, more diversified economies, and larger fiscal buffers fared better than others.