IMF's Antoinette Sayeh list of factors that stand in the way of inclusive growth are eerily familiar :
Two factors may have played a role in limiting the benefits of economic growth:
- In some cases, growth has been concentrated in the natural resource sector. But mining and oil enterprises are capital intensive, meaning they create little domestic employment. They can also be difficult to tax, and only a small share of the profits is retained in the country and used to reduce poverty.
- The flip side of large natural resource sectors with limited employment opportunities is that the majority of the population in most African countries continues to depend on small-scale or subsistence agriculture. With relatively little investment in public infrastructure in recent decades, and limited access to financing, agricultural productivity has often remained low and households have remained cash poor.
Interestingly among the examples of those following a good path of reform, she includes this : "numerous countries are looking at introducing or changing tax regimes for natural resources to ensure that more profits stay in the country, including Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Liberia. At the same time, countries are putting in place more transparent procedures to manage these resources".
So the IMF supports the DRC cancelling of mining contracts and putting a better fiscal regime that actually benefits its people by keeping profits in the country. So its just the Zambian people and their government content with the status quo then? For once, let us not blame multilateral institutions for our poverty. Their position can't be more clearer.