For the past decade, Africa has had strong growth. A new economic momentum has been created. The continent weathered the financial crisis and has bounced back. But headline economic growth is not enough. Deliberate policies to reduce inequalities and promote inclusion are now needed more than ever before. It is time to focus on what people want: decent work, a living wage, access to basic service, more democracy and accountable governments.  Africa and its people aim to be a pole of growth in the decades ahead. Read more


Debt Distress in Africa: Be Afraid?

As African countries seek today to consolidate their growth through increased foreign borrowing, the words “de ja vu” are frequently cited, with experts’ eyes on the implications for debt distress. Some thirty five years ago, the Latin American economies had enjoyed similarly high growth levels buttressed by large inflows from US private banks, at sub-prime rates.


Are African statistics a tragedy?

Africa’s growth resurgence during the past decade and its persistence have taken many watchers of the continent by surprise. The international media have been busy coining labels to match this unexpected turn of fortune – “Africa rising” being the commonest and most misleading label to date. Interestingly, Africa’s recent high growth has also revived general interest in its administrative and planning processes, with national development plans and visions, all but abandoned in past decades, coming back into vogue.


Trade finance in Africa

Trade finance is essential for international trade. This financial intermediation helps firms to manage risks inherent in international transactions, improve their liquidity and enable them to optimally invest to enhance their growth. In 2013, the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved a US $1-billion trade finance (TF) program to provide financing to underserved African-based financial institutions and enterprises.


Developmental state in Africa: New wine in old bottles?

The Ivorian Government, with support from the United Nations Development Programme, the African Development Bank and the World Bank organized a well-attended International Conference on Emerging Africa that took place in Abidjan from March 18-20, 2015. The issue of the developmental state and the role it could play in Africa’s emergence took centre stage.


Turbulence ahead? Africa and decision time at the US Fed

On March 18, 2015, the Fed indicated that it could consider raising rates during its June 2015 meeting. However, the market is skeptical, far from convinced of the possibility for faster policy normalization given the fundamentals. Investors are still betting on low interest rates for the longer term that is about 1.8% by 2017 , while the Fed’s median projection is about 3%.