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The African Development Bank, the OECD Development Center and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa launched the 2009 African Economic Outlook (AEO) on Friday 26 June 2009, at the La-Palm Royal Beach Hotel, Accra, from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm.
The AEO is an annual publication jointly published by the three institutions, with the African Development Bank taking the lead. The report has enjoyed generous financial support from the European Commission.
The 2009 Outlook presents a comprehensive analysis of the recent economic situation and the medium-term prospects for 47 African countries, up from 35 last year. The report also includes a comparative synthesis of Africa’s economic and social prospects, placing the evolution of African economies in the world economic context, as well as a statistical appendix. Each year, the report covers a theme of importance to current developments in Africa. The 2008/09 AEO Special Theme is: Innovation and ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) in Africa. The report has now become authoritative as a source of information on the performance of African economies.
This Eighth Edition of the AEO finds the continent gravely affected by the global economic downturn. Following half a decade of economic growth of above 5 percent, the continent may expect only 2.3 percent growth in 2009, less than half of the 5.7 percent expected before the crisis. The AEO forecasts that growth will rebound to 4.2 percent in 2010. Growth in oil-exporting countries is expected to fall to 2.4 percent in 2009 compared to 3.3 percent for the net oil importers.
The collapse of commodity prices and plummeting demand from OECD countries will have an adverse effect on Africa’s budget balances, with the region’s budget deficit for 2009 predicted to be around 5.5 percent of GDP compared to a surplus of 3.4 predicted in the AEO one year ago.
The African Economic Outlook notes that Ghana may be positioned to continue modest economic expansion in the years to come, despite of a drop in growth rate in 2009. Sound macroeconomic policies and structural reforms underscore this bright prospects. However, more efforts are needed to manage the widening fiscal and current account deficits- the twin deficits.
Distinguished policymakers, private sector representatives, civil society representatives and other participants attended the programme. The opening remark was presented by Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, Minister for Finance & Economic Planning, represented by Prof Hon. Professor Newman Kusi, the Acting Director of Budget.
African Economic Outlook Web site