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Vol 49 No 15

Published 18th July 2008

Boom time

For once world prices are moving in Africa’s favour, and governments are trying to grab what they can

Asia's appetite for resources - and speculative investment in commodity markets - have pushed up the prices of Africa's minerals and metals, and of some farm commodities too. Oil exporters have meanwhile been making unexpected fortunes. As a result the World Bank estimates that economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa will reach 6.5% in 2008, the highest rate in 38 years. True, this increase is measured in United States dollars, whose value in many other currencies has sharply declined. But governments across Africa find that for once they have their own money to spend, for good or ill, as investors from the outside world bid up their assets.

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