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Vol 49 No 9

Published 25th April 2008

Reforms, but not radical

Africa’s economic growth will continue to outstrip the world’s average economic growth despite the effects of the slowdown in Western economies, according to the IMF

The International Monetary Fund’s latest World Economic Outlook downgrades global growth to 3.7% real GDP growth in 2008, while Africa is forecast to grow at 6.5%, pulled up by oil exporters (expected to post growth of 10%), with oil importers posting around 5% growth. Inflation will be more difficult to dampen, at 8.5%, given the prospect of continuing world oil prices at around US$120 per barrel. Western shareholders at the spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Washington (12-13 April) proposed new formulae to increase the voting rights of developing countries at the two institutions. These were not radical enough for the African trade and finance ministers who criticised the Bretton Woods institutions’ ‘democratic deficit’ and called for complete parity of voting rights between rich and poor members so that recipients of development assistance can play a role in shaping the policies and procedures that they themselves will have to follow.

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