afrol News, 4 October - Economic growth in Burkina Faso is already higher than before the crisis year of 2009, and recovery is much faster than expected only a few months ago. Agriculture and mining drive the recovery.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has markedly improved its growth forecast for Burkina Faso in an analysis presented on Friday. In 2010, "GDP growth should reach 5.2 percent," IMF analyst Malangu Kabedi-Mbuyi concludes.
Only in July, the IMF was much more sober in its assessment of the Burkinabe economy. The Fund then expected a GDP growth of 4.2 percent in 2010 and 4.7 percent in 2011.
Now, also the 2011 forecast is more optimistic. "For 2011, real GDP growth is projected at 5.5 percent," Ms Kabedi-Mbuyi says. For the 2012-14 period, the IMF expects growth rates between 6 and 7 percent in Burkina Faso.
According to Ms Kabedi-Mbuyi, the "rebound in economic activity" this year was "driven by the agricultural and mining sectors." A good harvest, combined with high world market prices for cotton and gold, were the main factors behind the larger-than-expected growth.
Burkina Faso in any case had managed to get trough the global crisis without too much damage. GDP growth had fallen to 3.2 percent during 2009, at least securing that the economy grew on line with population.
During the 2000-09 decade, Burkina Faso has experienced a stronger growth than its neighbours in the West African currency union WAEMU. However, with its very high population growth rate - now reaching 3.4 percent annually - poverty reduction still is slow in the landlocked country.
Burkina Faso remains dependent on few natural resources. Its main exports are from agriculture and mining, in particular cotton and gold, making the economy vulnerable to terms-of-trade shocks and fluctuations in weather conditions.
The cotton sector, which plays an important role for poverty reduction, was the strongest hit during the 2009 crisis, with poor harvests and low world market prices. Over the long term, however, Burkina Faso has managed to gradually increase the volume and quality of its cotton export.
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