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Category Archives: Africa

Global food prices are on the rise

Global food prices increased by 8% from December 2011 to March 2012, according to the World Bank Group’s Food Price Watch. This was due to higher oil prices, adverse weather conditions and a strong demand for food imports in Asia. The World Bank’s Global Food Price Index was only 1% below what it was a year ago and 6% below … Continue reading

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African free trade area by 2017?

African leaders are now calling for a continental free trade area, a measure which is backed by a new World Bank report which shows that African countries are losing out on billions of dollars in potential trade earnings due to high trade barriers with neighbouring countries. The Bank found that it is easier for Africa to trade with the rest … Continue reading

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New free trade area to be set up in Southern Africa

Three of Africa’s key trade blocs are currently in talks concerning a merger. These blocs are the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the East African Community (EAC), and are currently negotiating to form the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFRA). According to the World Bank, trade amongst countries in sub-Saharan Africa … Continue reading

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How can Africa’s agriculture boost development through trade?

Why has Africa become a net food importer? This was the question raised by Pascal Lamy, director general of the World Trade Organisation, at a conference entitled “Harnessing Agriculture for Development through Trade” yesterday. This conference was based on a publication produced by the CUTS International resource centre. Lamy pointed out that Africa became a net-food importer in the 1980s, … Continue reading

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Can economic growth in Africa be fuelled by rapid increases in population?

I have just read an interesting blog by Wolfgang Fengler on one of the World Bank’s websites. He notes the fact that Africa’s population is rising rapidly and will soon pass the one billion mark. In fact the UN’s projections expect this to rise to 1.7 billion by 2050, although this is based on declining fertility, and Fengler believes that … Continue reading

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Concern at expected fall in overseas aid this year

 Aid to developing countries in 2010 will reach record levels in dollar terms after increasing by 35 per cent since 2004. But it will still be less than the world’s major aid donors promised five years ago at the Gleneagles and Millennium and five additional summits. Though a majority of countries will meet their commitments, the underperformance of several large … Continue reading

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Developing countries hit by falling FDI inflows

Developing countries have not been immune from the global recession or the fragile nature of financial markets. In fact, net private capital inflows to developing countries fell to $707 billion in 2008, which was a severe drop from the peak figure of $1.2 trillion in 2007. It is projected that international capital flows will fall further in 2009 to $363 … Continue reading

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Why aid to Africa must increase

 I came across this blog yesterday by Shanta Devarajan, the Chief Economist of the Africa Region at the World Bank, and thought that it would be good to copy it in full. “In rich countries, when economic growth declines by three or four percentage points, people lose their jobs and possibly their houses, but they regain them when the economy … Continue reading

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