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Africa Emerging Issue Series - Africa’s Performance and Mid-term Prospects - Volume 1 Issue 1 - November 2011


Over the last one year, a series of events – ranging from the Arab Spring to the European debt crisis and growing food insecurity, particularly in the Horn of Africa – have focused attention on the fragility of the global economic system. An awareness of risk, and risk management, is increasingly viewed as a prerequisite for sustainable and inclusive growth. Indeed, inaction on these and other long-term risks such as climate change could not only derail the long-term sustainability of global economies but also weaken their capacity to meet future challenges. This maiden edition of the Emerging Issues Series contains three articles: “Africa’s Performance and Mid-term Prospects”; “The Impact of the US Credit Rating Downgrade and European Debt Crisis on Africa”; and “Managing Food Price Volatility for Improved Food Security in Africa.” The first article notes that while Africa is expected to continue on its recovery path, there are a number of internal and external factors which could adversely affect its performance. A key internal factor is the risk of disruption from social unrest. External risks include possible contagion from the uncertain global economic environment, as well as high fuel and food prices. On the other hand, increased engagement by African countries with China and India could help to cushion adverse effects from a downturn in OECD countries.

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