The International Monetary Fund (IMF), says Sub-Saharan although Africa has experienced difficult global environment and the slump in commodity prices, Africa is rising.
“While there have been quite significant slowdown in some countries in sub-Saharan Africa, especially in resource-intensive countries, including Ghana, non-resource-intensive countries like Kenya, Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire have been able to maintain growth.”
Ms Natalia Koliadina, IMF Resident Representative for Ghana, who briefed members of the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists on the IMF’s April 2016 Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa, said there is the need for countries in the region to diversify their economies to minimise shocks from slumps in commodity prices.
She said it will require policy as well as structural reforms, building of infrastructure and skills upgrade for its workforce.
She noted that countries must insulate themselves against the effects of commodity price slumps by building up buffers when the prices are high.
The report said while dependency on natural resources had in the past supported the growth of these countries, it had also made them vulnerable to declines in commodity prices, with strong macroeconomic downturns and the most vulnerable are the region’s oil exporters.
The report encouraged the private sector business activity in the region to drive its economies by putting in place enabling policies for businesses, especially small businesses and building the requisite infrastructure and environment for businesses to thrive.
According to the report, there is a need for a major policy reset by authorities in the region to address the risks to the outlook.
The report acknowledged the improvement in policies in the last decade.
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