African Economic Outlook Applauds Libya and Africa’s Economic Rebound

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Tripoli, 3 August 2010 – Africa is recovering strongly from the global crisis and countries like Libya are back on a high growth trajectory. This was the key message of the 2010 African Economic Outlook (AEO), launched in Tripoli, Libya.

The report is jointly produced by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the UN Economic commission for Africa (UNECA).

The continent is bouncing back from the crisis after having seen its GDP growth reduced from an average of about 6% from 2006-2008 to a mere 2.5% in 2009. Growth is expected to rebound to 4.5% in 2010 and 5.2% in 2011, the report explains

North African countries like Libya “have shown strong resilience to the crisis and are expected to  be an important part in the continent’s recovery,” says AfDB North Africa Region Department Director, Jacob Kolster, at the launch attended by over 50 policymakers, researchers  and Libyan media at the Libyan Academy of Graduate Studies.

The launch comes at a time when the Bank is actively stepping up its engagement and intensifying its dialogue with Libya following the  approval of the institution’s Country Engagement Note in 2009, as well as that of its first Technical Assistance program in support of the Libyan Export Promotion Center.

“Libya does not need Bank financing, but rather the knowledge and technical assistance it can share with us,” The Dean of the Libya Academy, Salah Ibrahim, stated.

“We are happy that the Bank is becoming an important partner for Libya and a reference for knowledge on development in the country and for Africa,” Mr. Ibrahim added

The launch, which included the presentation of the AEO chapter on Libya, is part of a wider program of knowledge exchange and technical assistance being extended to the country. The report presents a complex and promising scenario of a country undertaking tremendous transformation. Libya has embarked on a massive 270 billion Libyan dinars (about USD 225 billion) public investment program over 2008-2012. The country is also opening up its economy and establishing stronger ties with the global economy.

“At this critical juncture, the Bank can play a key role in providing strategic and much needed advice to assist Libya in managing this transformation for the greatest benefits of its people and future generations” said AfDB Research Department Manager, Peter Walkenhorst..

Investing in, and broadening the spectrum of available income and revenue resources for future generations are a major concern for many African countries--“a challenge Libya is tackling through prudent management of its sovereign wealth fund, but also through the tremendous progress the country has made in diversifying and streamlining taxes” says Emanuele Santi, the Bank’s country Economist for Libya

Libya’s experience is only one of many documented in the 2010’s AEO report, largely dedicated to the experiences and trends in Mobilizing Public Resources. The 2010 edition contains detailed reports, data and analysis on 50 African countries.