Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Economy improves

Interesting -- we have First World countries and Third World countries. The ones in the middle are 'Developing countries'. Being in the bottom ten countries, there's no doubt that Tanzania is a Third World country. But it has its sights on becoming a Developing Country.

In 2005, it made significant steps towards that goal. The biggest step was to be granted $2bn debt relief -- the money not spent on repaying ill-considered loans is being used to open schools, run vaccination programs and provide mosquito nets to pregnant women.

Here's an overview on 2005 that I found on a UN website.

Kikwete has vowed to improve the country's economy by consolidating the foundations laid down by his predecessors - Julius Nyerere (1961-1985), Ali Hassan Mwinyi (1985-1995) and Mkapa (1995-2005).

Mkapa's term in office brought significant Tanzania economic progress, although much more needs to be achieved if the nation is to be placed on the same economic footing as some other developing countries.

At the start of his administration, Mkapa vigorously pursued recovery programmes, robust macroeconomic policies and structural reforms, including privatisation initiated by his predecessor.

The results were striking: In 2004, inflation stood at around 4 percent, down from 27.1 percent in 1995, and annual economic growth reached 6.7 percent, up from 3.6 percent when Mkapa took office.

By 2005, foreign reserves had increased to an equivalent of eight months of imports, and revenue collections stood at about US $140 million a month, more than triple the amount for 1995-1996.

On 14 July 2005, Mkapa told parliament that his administration had achieved the economic fundamentals, which in turn boosted investor confidence in the country and in the government - a far cry from the situation when he was elected president.

Mkapa's policies also led the World Bank and the IMF in November 2001 to cancel over $2 billion in debt - representing about half the amount the country owes - a goal he set on coming to power. He privatised several state-run institutions like the floundering National Bank of Commerce.

This larger picture gives me confidence that my donations will make a lasting difference. The Millenium Goal of ending world poverty is very achievable.

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