Burundi economy to grow 3.9 pct in 2010: IMF


Burundi’s economy is expected to grow by 3.9 percent this year from 3.5 percent in 2009 helped by strong coffee production, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said.

The latest forecast compares with its earlier prediction of 4 % growth.
“Burundi’s macroeconomic prospects for 2010 are positive, assuming the effects of the global financial crisis wane. Economic growth should accelerate due to strong coffee production and donor support,” IMF said in a statement on its website late yesterday.

IMF said it continued to expect headline inflation to remain in single digits at 7.5 percent, thanks to lower food prices, while gross official reserves would decline to six months of imports from seven months previously.

It said among risks Burundi faced included a worsening political, social and security situation ahead of general elections in mid-2010.
“Other risks are governance slippages, an uncertain external environment, and worsening energy shortages,” it said.

Burundi, which has a population of 8 million and borders Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania, is emerging from more than a decade of civil war that killed 300 000 people.

The country is enjoying relative peace since the last Hutu guerrilla group, the Forces for National Liberation (FNL), agreed last year to lay down weapons and join the government.

Many now see the 2010 elections as a way of consolidating peace and Burundi’s recent democratic achievements.

Pic: President Pierre Nkurunziza of Brundi

Source: www.af.reuters.com