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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 June, 2003, 17:06 GMT 18:06 UK
African growth 'set to improve'
Presidents Thabo Mbeki of South Africa; Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria; George W Bush of the USA; Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal
Africa needs its richer neighbours to do well, the AfDB says
Africa should experience modest economic growth in 2003 - but only if the developed countries can get their act together and the droughts ravaging southern Africa ease, the African Development Bank believes.

In its annual African Development Report, released during its annual conference in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, the Bank said that the economies of African nations should expand about 3.6% on average this year.

The predicted performance would comfortably outstrip last year's 2.8% growth, and benefits from the relatively quick end to the US-led war on Iraq.

But it remains way below the 7% generally accepted as necessary to make a serious dent in the poverty endured by most of the continent's citizens, and meet the United Nations' goal of halving the number of people living in poverty by the year 2015.

Conditions

Even 3.6% growth is contingent on an improved showing by developed nations, particularly the 30 members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Bank said.

A fall in oil prices from the near $30 a barrel at which they currently hover is also needed, as is an easing of the hot, dry weather which has catalysed near-famine across much of southern Africa.

"Growth in the world economy is expected to be moderate," the Bank wrote.

"This increased aggregate demand will significantly increase Africa's external impetus for growth by impacting on both the volume and prices of major exports, as well as continuing to affect capital flows."


SEE ALSO:
World Bank warns on poverty
13 Apr 03  |  Americas
Africa to miss anti-poverty targets
03 Mar 03  |  Business


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