Zimbabwe was ranked second last in the 2012 Index of Economic Freedom released by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal. It was ranked 178 and was only better than the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Five other countries- Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan and Liechtenstein- were not ranked.
Zimbabwe’s economic freedom score was 26.3 but this was an increase of 4.2 points from last year, reflecting gains in half of the 10 economic freedoms.
Zimbabwe was ranked last out of 46 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region.
The report said Zimbabwe’s improvement was relatively broad-based, but the impressive size of the score change was driven primarily by renormalisation of government spending levels that had spiked extraordinarily during the country’s recent crisis.
Hong Kong was top of the list with Mauritius being the highest ranked African country. It stood at number 8 beating the world’s largest economy, the United States which was at number 10.
China, the world’s second largest economy, which is threatening to take over from the United States, was ranked at number 138 way below Southern African countries like Botswana at 33 and South Africa at 70.
The Heritage report came days after another report by the Huffington Post said Harare was among the top 10 cities in the world that people should not visit in 2012.