Madagascar aims for annual growth of 6.5 pct by 2019

PUBLISHED: Fri, 02 Dec 2016 14:04:11 GMT

Madagascar needs to achieve growth of 6.5 percent to help it reduce poverty, the president told a donor conference in Paris on Thursday.

Madagascar’s economy has been struggling since a 2009 coup scared off foreign investors. The country is one of the world’s poorest, despite reserves of nickel, cobalt, gold, uranium and other minerals.

“We need at least 6.5 percent annual growth rate. It is the only guarantor of the structural change that the country needs to reduce poverty,” President Hery Rajaonarimampianina told the conference.

General Herilanto Raveloharison, the minister of economy and planning, said the government aimed to reach this target by 2019.

Madagascar’s population of 24 million people is growing at 2.8 percent annually, according to the World Bank.

In July, the International Monetary Fund announced a package worth $304.7 million in financial assistance for the Indian Ocean island nation under a 40-month extended credit facility. The Fund also said it had trimmed the country’s economic growth forecast for 2015 to 3.1 percent.

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