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Vol 50 No 21

Published 23rd October 2009

The great World Bank capital chase

This year, the World Bank group lent a record US$59 billion, a 54% increase over last year. In Africa, the Bank increased its new commitments by 45% over 2008, although in Latin America it increased new commitments by a staggering 201% and by 124% in Europe and Central Asia. Much more is coming to Africa, according to Obiageli Ezekwezili, Vice-President for the Africa region at the World Bank: 'We have already boosted our funding to Africa. Our agriculture programmes have gone from $430 million to $1.5 bn. We now have regional infrastructure projects worth $2.9 bn.' If Africa could sort out its electricity deficit, she added, it would add 2% to its gross domestic product growth.

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