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Zim moves up on prosperity index

ZIMBABWE has moved up from 137 to 118 on the 2018 Legatum Prosperity Index due to gains in the country’s judicial quality, political freedoms, and improvements in life expectancy, although government performance remains weak.

By Kudzai Kuwaza

Legatum Institute, a London-based think-tank, released its annual Prosperity Index this week. The index measures and tracks prosperity across the world.

In an interview with businessdigest, Legatum Prosperity Index director of policy Stephen Brien said the country has gone up due to improvements in institutional structures as well as personal freedoms.

“There has been a slow and steady increase in the institutional structure of the country,” Brien said.

He said there was also a loosening up of the business environment in Zimbabwe.

Brien however noted there are still weaknesses in business infrastructure such as road and rail. He added that there is a need in the long term to ensure that human capital is educated.
He said government performance is weak with civic participation on the decline.
Brien said the current currency volatility rocking the country which has stoked inflation and resulted in shortages of basic goods and the skyrocketing of prices would be a key factor in considering the country’s performance in the next Prosperity Index report.

“We will be keeping a close eye on security and this includes food, clothing and housing affordability under the economic quality pillar. That is very important,” Brien said.

He added that Sub-Saharan Africa has been the weakest performing region mainly due to conflict in countries such as Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Brien said the Prosperity Index is determined by data published by various institutions, which include the World Bank, World Economic Forum and International Monetary Fund.

The 2018 Prosperity Index is the 12th edition by the London-based think- tank.

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