THE World Bank has reclassified Zambia as a middle-income country,along with Ghana.
The World Bank says the upward adjustment in Zambia’s income growth is a result of foreign aid-driven interventions and surging prices of copper in the last few decades.
This is contained in yesterday’s edition of the United Kingdom-based newspaper, The Guardian.
“Zambia and Ghana are ranked 27th and 28th among 63 countries which the World Bank has reclassified as middle-income countries since the year 2000,” The Guardian newspaper reports.
Low-income countries are those with the average gross national income (GNIs) of less than US$1, 005 per person annually. Lower middle-income countries have per capita GNIs of between US$1,006 per year and upper middle-income countries have per capita GNIs between US$3, 976 and US$12, 275.
The UK newspaper says the World Bank did its annual assessment of poor countries last week and the new middle-income countries this year are Zambia and Ghana.
It states that the price of copper (Zambia’s major export) was depressed in the 80s and saw its price rise in the middle of the last decade as China and India’s economies grew and demand for copper soared.
The newspaper states that the World Bank country classifications which are used to help to determine types and levels of support provided by many aid agencies, need a rethink.
The middle-income countries now account for most of the world’s population living in absolute poverty and they need aid allocation models which will take account of poor people and deprivation beyond income.
On the Millennium Development Goals, the Guardian newspaper states that Zambia and Ghana have done well although the progress to attain the goals is slow.
“However, in both Ghana and Zambia, the number of children in primary school has climbed along with literacy rates and infant mortality has fallen. Even if they are not on track to meet the MDGs, quality of life is getting much better,” it states.
There are only 35 low-income countries remaining out of the countries being assessed by the world.
In March this year, Zambia was assigned a B+ sovereign credit by two internationally recognised credit agencies, Standard and Poors and Fitch.
[Zambia Daily Mail]