The International Monetary Fund has appointed a representative to Zimbabwe for the first time in a decade.
The appointment of Christian Beddies has, however, been dampened by the news that the World Bank has revised downwards the country’s economic growth prospects from 3 percent to 2 percent.
Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa had predicted a 6.1 percent growth. Bloomberg News is reporting that the IMF will appoint Beddies as its first representative in Zimbabwe since 2004.
Relations between the IMF and Harare are thawing. They soured when Zimbabwe failed to settle a $124 million debt. Zimbabwe also owes the World Bank about one billion dollars.
The future is not bright for Harare as the World Bank forecasts that Zimbabwe’s economy may grow at a slower pace; one percent in 2015 and 0,6 percent in 2016.
The World Bank says the global environment may affect the Zimbabwean economy through the stronger US dollar, lower global demand for key exports, weaker commodity prices and reduced capital inflows to developing countries.
Economist Chris Mugaga, head of research at Econometer Global Capital, said the IMF announcement is a welcome development for Zimbabwe.