Economic Report on Africa 2012

Unleashing Africa’s Potential as a Pole of Global Growth

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This publication assesses long-term trends in Africa’s growth, analyses the factors behind the recent growth momentum, and provides global perspectives on the key challenges to be addressed, which are critical to unleashing the role of Africa as a global growth pole. The main aim of this publication is to facilitate discussion on concrete policy directions and actions at both national and regional levels that would help Africa realize its growth potential. As in previous editions, the first part of the report examines recent economic and social developments as well as some selected current and emerging development issues in Africa. The second part focuses on the question of how to address key constraints and unleash the potential of the continent as a new pole of global growth.



Developments in the World Economy and Implications for Africa

After a strong rebound in 2010, the world economy slowed in 2011 owing to increased risks and uncertainties that are expected to remain in 2012 and beyond. The negative effects of the triple crisis of 2007–2009—food, energy and finance—still linger, and the euro area sovereign debt crisis has aggravated the structural imbalances in the world economy and cast doubt on the prospects for sustained growth and a quick recovery. The shift of “toxic assets” from private sector to government balance sheets in major developed economies did not relieve the global financial system as expected, but instead worsened government fiscal positions, paced by new global financial turmoil with the onset of the euro area crisis.


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