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Vol 52 No 20

Published 7th October 2011

Good boom, bad timing

Asian demand for African agricultural and mineral commodities will not fully compensate the losses caused by the West’s economic slowdown

Africa has picked a really bad time to launch its economic boom, says one finance minister resignedly. In Washington for the World Bank and International Monetary Fund annual meetings on 23-25 September, he had just heard the Bank’s Chief Economist for Africa, Shantayanan Devarajan, talk about the continent’s ‘robust growth’. The Bank puts this at about 4.8% on average in 2011, with the IMF projecting it at 5.2%. Of the world’s 15 fastest-growing economies, Devarajan explained, 10 were from Africa, including Ghana, where the start of oil and gas export should produce gross domestic product growth of over 13% this year.

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