Africa: IMF forecasts positive growth for most of Africa

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MUCH of Africa is recovering fast from the global financial crisis and the region would register the second-highest growth rates in the world, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Monday.

The IMF said in its 2010 economic outlook for sub-Saharan Africa that the region’s economic growth would be five percent this year, compared to 2.5 percent in 2009.

That growth would put the region in second place internationally, behind Asia. But the region had still not recovered fully from the crisis, IMF officials said .

Next year the region’s economic growth was projected to be 5.5 percent and this would bring sub- Saharan Africa closer to the high average rates of 6 percent to 6.5 percent it had registered between 2004 and 2008, said Abebe Selassie of the IMF’s African Department.

There had been worries African economies would experience “a delayed effect” from the global financial crisis, but key trade and other indicators showed recovery was on the way.

But Selassie warned that countries that relied heavily on foreign loans and grants to fund their budgets and grow their economies needed to cut back on such dependence. — Sapa-AP

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Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

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