Zambia 2011 GDP to grow above 7%

LUSAKA, May 21 (Reuters) – Zambia’s economy is likely to grow beyond 7.0 percent in 2011 largely driven by investments in mining and infrastructure, Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane said on Saturday.

“We are set to have very good growth in 2011. The numbers will be revised around July-August and I expect a very good number, even above 7 percent,” Musokotwane said at a media briefing.

He added: “Infrastructure development is going to be part of the growth process for Zambia.”

Zambia planned to invest 1 trillion kwacha ($216.7 million) in the rehabilitation of urban roads and the money would come from a $500 million international bond and additional tax revenue from the mines, Musokotwane said.

The International Monetary Fund in March projected Zambia 2011 growth at 6.8 percent.

Zambia’s economy grew 7.1 percent in 2010.

Musokotwane also said that inflation was not likely to exceed the 8 percent end-year target following Zambia’s bumper maize harvest of over 3 million tonnes.

Zambia’s headline consumer inflation slowed to 8.8 percent year-on-year in April, a rare example of easing price pressures in Africa caused in part by a drop in the cost of basic food.

(Reporting By Chris Mfula, Editing by Olivia Kumwenda)

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