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Mauritius Joins High-Income Club

Mauritius has officially moved to a high income economy status in the latest classification by the World Bank as Tanzania and Benin graduated from low income to lower-middle income economies.

The positive reclassification of the three African nations reflects their recently-earned economic firepower, which is assumed to have lifted the fortunes of their populations.

The island nation of Mauritius has joined the Indian Ocean archipelago of Seychelles as the other African economy in the elite high income class, having moved from upper-middle income level.

However, the bright fortunes might be dimmed when the impact of Covid-19 on the respective economies is eventually measured and factored in.

“The numbers that are used for this year’s classification do not yet reflect the impact of Covid-19,” the World Bank said in a blog post.

Tanzania’s change of fortunes came after the East African nation revised its national accounts, the World Bank said. It has joined Kenya as the only other economy placed in the lower-middle income category in the East African Community (EAC).

The World Bank has classified countries in four groups based on the size of their economies – gross national income (GNI).

Those with GNI per capita (GNI divided by population) of less than $1,036 fall in the low-income category, the lower middle-income group have a range of between $1,036 to $4,045 per capital GNI, the upper middle-income fall between $4, 045 to $12,535 while any country with a GNI per capita of more than $12,535 falls in the high-income class.

To this end, Mauritius crossed over to the high income territory after its GNI per capita grew to $12,740. On their part, Tanzania ($1,080) and Benin ($1,250) have transitioned from low income category to lower-middle income status.

On the flipside, Algeria and Sudan slid down the income category rankings. Algeria, previously classified as an upper-middle income economy, has now slid to lower-middle income with a GNI per capita of $3,970 while Sudan has moved down the ladder from lower-middle income to low income.

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