Indigenisation to leave Zimbabweans poorer


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Indigenisation, the platform on which President Robert Mugabe won 61 percent of the vote last year and his party won more than two-thirds majority in Parliament, is likely to leave Zimbabweans poorer, according to a study just released.

Zimbabwe had the worst wealth per capita growth in Africa over the past 13 years to 2013 recording a growth of minus 10 percent between 2000 and 2013, according to a report by the New World Wealth released this week.

The World Bank ranked Zimbabwe also lowest on the continent but said per capita income had grown by 47 percent.

Angola recorded the highest growth according to the two organisations with New World Wealth giving Angola a 527 percent growth while the World Bank gave it 737 percent growth.

According to the World Bank, Zimbabwe had a per capita income of US$788 but the report said this was likely to drop to US$700 by the end of 2013 because of indigenisation.

New World Wealth put Zimbabwe’s per capita income at US$570 only higher than that of Tanzania at US$450, Mozambique US$430, Uganda US$360 and Ethiopia US$260.

South Africa topped the list with a per capita wealth of US$11 310, followed by Libya with US$11 040, Namibia US$10 500, Tunisia US$8500 and Botswana US$6 580.

The global average per capita wealth is US$27 600, more than double that of Africa’s richest country. Countries like Switzerland and Australia have per capita wealth of over US$250 000.

While countries like Libya and Tunisia had higher per capita incomes they ranked at the bottom of the growth rankings with Libya recording only a 4 percent growth followed by Egypt with 44 percent and Tunisia with 56 percent.

The report said interestingly all four of the countries at the bottom of the growth rankings, with the exception of Zimbabwe, had experienced uprisings which resulted in a change in leadership since 2000.

It said these uprisings may well have been fuelled by discontent related to the poor growth in these countries.

Wealth analyst Andrew Amoils said: “Looking at the figures, it is surprising that Zimbabwe still remains under the same ruler, while leadership in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt has changed.”

In 2000, Zimbabwe was one of the wealthiest countries in Sub Saharan Africa on a wealth per capita basis, ranked ahead countries like Nigeria, Kenya, Angola, Zambia and Ghana.

The report said contributing factors to Zimbabwe’s poor performance since 2000 included, the erosion of ownership rights in the country which led to a significant loss of currency value and hyper-inflation, and the banning of independent media in the early 2000’s which created a situation where it is impossible for investors to tell what is happening there.

A study published by a Harvard professor in October last year said Zimbabwe had the highest growth potential in Africa over the next seven years.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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