News / Africa

IMF says Last Decade Best Ever for Sub-Saharan Africa

Roger Nord, senior adviser to the IMF's African department, attends a Reuters interview in Kenya's capital Nairobi, FILE October 25, 2010. Roger Nord, senior adviser to the IMF's African department, attends a Reuters interview in Kenya's capital Nairobi, FILE October 25, 2010.
x
Roger Nord, senior adviser to the IMF's African department, attends a Reuters interview in Kenya's capital Nairobi, FILE October 25, 2010.
Roger Nord, senior adviser to the IMF's African department, attends a Reuters interview in Kenya's capital Nairobi, FILE October 25, 2010.

Related Articles

ABIDJAN - The International Monetary Fund says that economically speaking, the past 10 to 15 years have been the best ever for sub-Saharan Africa - which has been largely insulated from the global financial crisis of 2008-2009.  Some countries are experiencing faster economic growth than many robust economies in Asia did 20 years ago. But the new wealth is not always being shared with the poor.  

Sub-Saharan Africa has enjoyed a long period of strong economic growth. The IMF says it has been spurred by mineral wealth and the growth of the telecommunications, tourism and construction industries.

Roger Nord, deputy director of the Africa department of the IMF, says when the world was hit by the global financial crisis in 2008, Africa was resilient. “We saw that 2008-2009 growth went down slightly but by no means as much as it did in the rest of the world, which was going through a sharp recession," he recalled. "And we’ve seen a rapid rebound.  We now have 5 percent growth in 2011.  2012, our projection is 5.5.  And about the same level in 2013.”

African economies have long been vulnerable to fluctuations in European and American markets.  Nord said this is changing.

Trade has trended away from traditional partners like the United States and Europe, toward emerging markets like China, India and Brazil.  The IMF says this trade with new markets has helped insulate Africa from the economic downturn in Europe and the U.S, as have sound economic policies.

Nord notes the growth Africa is experiencing compares to the growth much of Asia began experiencing 20 or 30 years ago.  He says Rwanda and Mozambique have even had faster “take-offs” than India, Vietnam, Korea or Thailand did.

Yet not all countries on the continent are thriving.  Countries in conflict, such as the Central African Republic and Guinea-Bissau, have had little growth.

And while the poor have benefited overall, some countries are doing better than others at sharing the wealth coming from minerals and oil.

For the poor to benefit, Nord says policies have to focus on the sector where the largest proportion of the poor work in sub-Saharan Africa: agriculture. “So you have to make sure that you don’t have only growth in your natural resources, in oil and minerals.  You also have to make sure that the rural population benefits," he stated. "And that way you can get a good distribution of growth.”

But Nord says for Africa to emerge out of poverty, this growth has to be maintained for decades. “It has to last if Africa wants to come out of poverty.  We’re optimistic that it's possible," he said. "We’ve seen countries like Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, to name just a few, that have been maintaining these growth rates now for 15, sometimes 20 years.  And that’s going to be needed.  So the challenge, the challenge for Africa and for the world, is to make sure that they can can maintain this.”

Nord notes that requires not only good economic policies but also stable political and social conditions, and the absence of conflict.

You May Like

New England Bears Brunt of US Blizzard

Boston, surrounding region grapple with as much as 3 feet of snow, coastal flooding; leaders in New York, spared most severe weather, criticized for being overly cautious More

China Lifts Lid on Sale of Fake Goods Online

A recent survey found nearly 60 percent of a random sample of items bought from Taobao were fake More

Upward Aims to Create Old-girls Network in Silicon Valley

Lisa Lambert, an executive with Intel Corp.'s venture-capital unit, responds to the gender-disparity debate by creating a new social organization More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Spacei
X
Rosanne Skirble
January 27, 2015 5:05 PM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.
Video

Video Weekly Protests in Korea Keep Japanese WWII Atrocities Alive

Every week in Seoul protesters gather in front of the Japanese Embassy to demand an apology and reparations from Tokyo for the thousands of South Korean women who were forced into prostitution during World War II. Although this year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, these protestors have helped keep the issue of comfort women alive and made it difficult for Japan to move beyond its past wartime atrocities. VOA's Brian Padden reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Exercise: New Prescription for Parkinsons Disease

Exercise could be the new prescription for Parkinson's Disease, a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. More than six million people worldwide suffer from Parkinsons and they're traditionally treated with medication and surgery. Shelley Schlender has more.
Video

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Greece’s youngest-ever prime minister, 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, was sworn in Monday after his victorious far-left Syriza party entered a coalition with far right rivals. Tsipras says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts. So begins a new chapter for the country at the epicenter of Europe’s economic crisis - a change that has sent tremors across the continent, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Oil Price Drop Troubles Texas Producers

As oil prices have fallen over the past several months, drilling operations have slowed in some parts of the United States - including Texas, the state that surpasses all others in energy production. The Lone Star State’s energy output has been boosted in recent years by development of resources trapped deep below ground in the Eagle Ford shale deposit, which stretches across south central Texas. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Karnes City, Texas, the drop in oil prices has created concerns,
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid