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Sub-Saharan Africa Lags Behind Rest Of Developing World In Economic Growth

A new report from the World Bank says global economic growth reached 3.8 percent last year, while much of the developing world did even better at 6.6 percent.

However, despite those figures, the report says once again sub-Saharan Africa is lagging behind the rest of the developing world in economic growth.

Christopher Neal is with the development economics department of the World Bank in Washington, DC. He spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about the report entitled: Global Development Finance 2005.

He says, “Global economic growth was very good in 2004. Three-point-eight percent was the fastest growth in four years. And a lot of this is driven by increases in the volume of global trade, which has had a particularly large impact in developing countries where there was really record expansions.”

But while overall economic growth in the developing world was 6.6percent in 2004, sub-Saharan Africa did not fare as well.

Mr. Neal says, “Sub-Saharan Africa unfortunately has lagged behind. It grew by 3.8 percent in 2004. However, our forecast is the continent’s growth should pick up in 2005 reaching 4.1 percent; and it should stay at about that level, 4 percent, for 2006. But it still lags the performance of other regions and for that reason we call for continued and increased assistance, development assistance, to Africa in an effort to stimulate the economies in those countries.”