International Monetary Fund and World Bank officials speaking on the sidelines of the just-ended African Union summit in Accra, Ghana, expressed concern at deepening economic distress in Zimbabwe and urged AU leaders to help resolve the crisis.
IMF Deputy Managing Director Takatoshi Tako is reported to have cited the impact of “the heightened rate of inflation on the people,” referring to inflation last estimated at 4,500%, and challenged Harare to tackle “very comprehensive measures head-on.”
Unnamed World Bank officials were also quoted as predicting “total collapse” due to the government’s “lack of taste for embracing any reforms.”
The international financial officials noted that with the exception of Zimbabwe, African countries last year posted an average rate of growth of around 5%. The Zimbabwean economy has been in a contraction since the beginning of the current decade.
While urging countries in the region to assist Zimbabwe in stabilizing its economy, IMF Director for Africa Abdoulaye Bio-Tchane acknowledged that "in the end it's really the responsibility of the Zimbabwe authorities to address the current situation."
Economist David Mupamhadzi told reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyelye of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that is it is hard to dismiss the figures cited by global experts.