Posted by: stbideas | October 9, 2009

IMF-World Economic Outlook proposes steps to move Africa forward

The October 2009 edition of the World Economic Outlook published by the IMF says growth in Nigeria will slow to 2.9% in 2009 and expected to rebound to 5% in 2010. For Africa as a whole Real GDP growth is expected to decline to 13/4% in 2009 (it averaged 6% between 2004 & 2008) before accelerating to 4% in 2010. The reason for the slump in growth is as a result of collapse of global trade and disruptions in global financial markets.

On the outlook for the Sub-Saharan African region, the report says “poverty could increase significantly as real GDP per capita contracts in 2009 – the first decline in a decade – unemployment rises, and the region suffers from a lack of extensive social safety nets.”

Going forward, the report proposes that Africa must:

  • move ahead with a series of reforms to strengthen the region’s resilience to external shocks and growth prospects,
  • promote the development and implementation of sound and transparent public policies  – which include improved capacity for public financial management, creation of fiscal room for the enhancement of transport, health and education infrastructures and introduction of well targeted poverty reduction programs,
  • business environment should be further reformed to facilitate private sector growth especially those that bothers on start-up costs for new enterprises,
  • banking supervisory capacity is to be strengthened and the scope of financial sector regulation and supervision should be expanded, and
  • some countries should also make efforts to further integrate their economies with the rest of the world.

The points above are necessary steps for Nigeria in particular if we are to take advantage of the many riches of our land and very crucial for the government if it is to achieve its vision 202020. There is no better time than now to be fiscally prudent, to create an economy with sound infrastructure (especially education, healthcare, power and roads) and safe institutions.  I believe in this country!

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