Investment in infrastructure and human and institutional development are the challenges for a sustainable future in sub-Saharan Africa, the director-general of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in Maputo Thursday.
At the opening of the Africa in Ascension conference, promoted by the IMF in partnership with the Mozambican government, Christine Lagarde, with an audience of African political leaders, businesspeople and embers of civil society, gave an optimistic view of the region’s economy forecasting average growth of 5.5 percent for 2014, and up to 7 percent in poorer countries.
According to Lagarde the possible downturn of emerging economies is a risk to the region given the growing economic relations between them, which explains the “elasticity” of sub-Saharan Africa in relation to the shocks of the 2008 financial crisis, which particularly affected developed countries.
Other dangers, she warned, include financial volatility of developed economies, as well as excessively low prices of some goods, which could lead to long periods of low inflation, with impacts on job creation.
These priorities were also outlined by the vice president of the China-Africa Development Fund, Wang Yong, who announced that the Chinese government would provide a further US$1 billion to the fund, which will focus on building infrastructure, which he said was essential of other objectives to be achieved.
The Africa in Ascension two-day conference is due to end Friday following a number of debates on natural resources, infrastructure and finance. (macauhub/MZ)