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The World Bank has released Africa’s Pulse which states that despite global slowdown, African economies are growing strong and the World Bank is urging countries to spend the new oil, gas, and mineral wealth wisely.
Africa’s Pulse is a twice yearly analysis of the issues shaping Africa’s economic prospects. It states sub-Saharan Africa is expected to grow 4.8% in 2012 almost the same as 2011 4.9%, despite setback in global economy.
The World Bank release notes that sub-Saharan African is forecast to rise to 6% because African exports rebound notably in first quarter of 2012 growing at annualized pace of 32% up from 11% in the 1st quarter 2011.
The World Bank release notes that African countries are not immune to the recent market volatility from Euro Area crisis and growth slowdown in large economics like China, and that climate change in USA, Russia, and Eastern Europe has caused high food prices in African sahel.
Furthermore, the latest Africa’s Pulse notes that new discoveries such a s oil, gas, and other minerals in African countries will generate significant mineral wealth for the region and the economic importance of natural resources is likely to continue establishing oil and mineral producers because of sizable stock of resource wealth. Shantayanan Devarajan, World Bank Chief Economist for Africa, says “Resource rich African countries have to make the conscious choice to invest in better health, education, jobs, and less poverty for their people because it will not happen automatically when countries strike it rich.”
Africa’s Pulse also pointed out the wide-range of new development in Africa and it notes that after ten years of high growth an increased number of countries are moving into “middle-income” status; defined by World Bank as countries achieving more than $1,000 per capita income. while another 10 countries representing another 200 million people today would reach middle-income status by 2025 if current growth trends continue or with some modest growth and stabilization. It lastly states that African countries are rapidly urbanizing with 41% of Africans living in cities with additional one percent every two years.
Through an online conference Shantayanan Devarajan stated that new resource rich countries like Sierra Leone should ensure poor people benefit from these newly found oil and gas resources, and for this to happen government and institutions should be strengthened.
By Zuzel Davies
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