Madagascar’s finance minister Lantoniaina Rasoloelison on Thursday forecast its economy could grow by 3% this year and possibly reach 12% in 5 years’ time.

This follows a peaceful election process that culminated in Hery Rajaonarimampianina being inaugurated president in January this year.

Madagascar, famed for its wildlife and mineral richness, is still feeling the economic pinch from a 2009 coup. It has struggled to lure back tourists and mining giants which has seen the economy take a slump and poverty deepen.

Rasoloelison said state coffers had just enough for salaries and to make basic payments but the situation would improve once donors resumed lending money to the nation. “For now, there is nothing in the budget beyond keeping the state functioning. Once the president has put in place a political programme, we will need to draw up a new budget”, Rasoloelison told reporters.

The voting of President Hery Rajaonarimampianina into power is seen as a vital step to rebuild confidence in an economy which was decimated after investors left and donors suspended support to one of the world’s poorest countries.

9 out of 10 people in the country of 22 million live on less than $2 a day.

Source: Independent Online