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Vol 49 No 20

Published 3rd October 2008


Financial and political chaos

As equities and corporate fortunes plummeted outside, diplomats discussed aid pledges and peackeeping

After a year of the worsening credit crisis, the cost of external finance for African and other states has risen and the availability of credit is shrinking. That is doubly unlucky for Africa, says the UN Conference on Trade and Development, whose just-released annual report shows record foreign direct investment to Africa of US$10 billion in 2007, up from $9.6 bn. in 2006. Direct investment in Africa showed the highest average rates of return at just over 12%, compared to 10.5% in South and East Asia. After a decade of over 5% growth a year, Africa would need to accelerate that tempo to over 7% to achieve the UN's Millennium Development Goals (see Box).

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