News / Economy

IMF Predicts 6 Percent Economic Growth in Africa

Shoppers leave a Woolworths store at a shopping centre in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg, Aug. 28, 2013.
Shoppers leave a Woolworths store at a shopping centre in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg, Aug. 28, 2013.
Anne Look
The International Monetary Fund says economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa will pick up to an average of 6 percent in 2014 after a moderate slowdown this year.

In its latest outlook report released for the region in Dakar, the IMF says economic growth in will continue to be "rigorous," reaching as much as 7 percent next year in some of the continent's poorest, mineral-producing countries and averaging 6 percent across the continent.

"Africa rising" has made for an exciting narrative in the past few years, but the surge in growth has yet to improve the daily lives of many Africans.

The Fund's deputy director for Africa, Roger Nord, says poverty is going down but not fast enough.

"If you are in East Africa today versus twenty years ago, the life of the average Rwandan, Tanzanian has changed quite a lot.  Has it changed enough?  No.  We have to remember that Mozambique has grown on average at 8 percent for twenty years.  That means per capita GDP went up from 150 to 500. That's still quite poor on average," he said.

Governments, he said, need to address this head-on with measures like targeted subsidies for poor families.

One common assumption is that high global commodity prices have driven Africa's impressive economic growth over the past two decades.

The IMF says that while that has been true for some countries, resources have not been the only ticket to fast growth.

"The countries that have grown the fastest are countries like Tanzania, like Uganda, like Rwanda, Mozambique but also Burkina [Faso] that are quite diversified.  They are not the oil exporters or the big mineral exporters that one thinks of, and the answer is because this growth has not come just from exports.  It has come from good economic policies that have created a stable macroeconomic situation and have allowed both consumption and investment to rise. That's the kind of growth that is sustained for a long period of time," said Nord.

The IMF says risks for regional growth in 2014 are minimal and are primarily external, like lower global commodity prices or further weakening in emerging markets.

"Twenty years ago, 80 percent of its [sub-Saharan Africa's] trade was with its traditional partners in Europe and the United States," said Nord. "Today, it's less than 50 and the other 50 is with emerging markets in China, in Brazil, in India, but also more trade among each other. It's still low, too low maybe, but it has doubled over the last twenty years. That has given more stability so that diversification is good."

But it also brings risk, he said, and as more African countries begin to seek capital on the international market, Nord cautioned that the debt they take on should be used for investment, like infrastructure, that will fuel more growth.

You May Like

Beijing Warns Hong Kong Protesters, Cracks Down at Home

In suppressing protest news, China reportedly has arrested more than 20 people on the mainland who acted in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters More

Competing Goals Could Frustrate Efforts to Fight Islamic State

As alliances shift and countries re-define themselves, analysts say long-standing goals of some key players in Middle East may soon compete with Western goals More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7866
JPY
USD
109.25
GBP
USD
0.6139
CAD
USD
1.1120
INR
USD
61.428

Rates may not be current.