African economies beginning to recover

THE International Monetary Fund yesterday announced that African economies are beginning to recover from a sharp slowdown brought on by the global economic crisis.

THE International Monetary Fund yesterday announced that African economies are beginning to recover from a sharp slowdown brought on by the global economic crisis.

The fund said the continent as a whole will grow by fourpercent in 2010 after its economies managed a meagre 1,7percent this year.

In its latest estimates, the IMF said the global economy is poised to grow by 3,1percent in 2010, up on the 2,5percent predicted in July.

The US, the world's biggest economy, is expected to grow by 1,5percent.

It said government stimulus packages around the world helped support demand and reduced risks in the financial markets. However, recovery is expected to be slow and risks to the outlook remain to the downside.

The 4percent growth in Africa, meanwhile, compares with average growth rates of about 6percent between 2004 and 2008.

"Africa is one of the innocent victims of the crisis," said IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard in Istanbul, where the IMF and World Bank are holding their annual meetings this week and next.

While the global downturn had erased years of hard-won gains in combating poverty on the continent, the IMF said there was a silver lining in the fact that most of the region had weathered the crisis better than expected. - Sapa

X