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Vol 39 No 19

Published 25th September 1998

Counting the cost

Hopes that Africa would turn the economic corner have been dampened as the Asian and Russian crises hit growth prospects

Fending off a globalised recession is top of the agenda for world financial leaders gathering in Washington for the annual meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund on 6-8 October. Until now, few economists at the IMF and Bank believed that financial turmoil to the north and east would have much effect on Africa’s growth prospects. ‘I don’t think I have seen the word Africa mentioned... notwithstanding worsening African markets and currencies, strongly declining commodity prices and diminishing priority being given to Africa by private and public sector lenders,’ Rudolph van der Bijl of the International Finance Corporation (a Bank affiliate) told a conference of African stockbrokers in Zambia on 22 September.

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