AfDB: Africa still rising, but needs economic discipline

Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy will grow more than 6 percent this year, the African Development Bank said on Tuesday, but its president urged governments to build resilience to capital outflows and commodity price shocks.

In an interview with Reuters, Donald Kaberuka rejected as “premature” suggestions the ‘Africa Rising’ narrative might have lost momentum as a slowing China economy depresses prices for commodities such as copper, and the run-down of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s bond-buying programme squeezes the flow of cheap capital into emerging markets.

“I still believe that Sub-Saharan Africa will do 6.4 percent in 2014,” Kaberuka said. This would be stronger that the 6.2 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth the bank forecast in February and an estimated 5.8 percent for 2013.

Slowing stimulus from abroad has sharpened investors’ focus on governance in Africa’s biggest economies – South Africa and Nigeria – and in Ghana, long praised for its stability but now seen struggling to keep its debt and deficits under control after easy access to international financing.

A decade after historic debt relief, Kaberuka, one of the biggest cheerleaders of Africa’s growth story, saw these problems as “manageable” so long as governments exercised careful stewardship of their debts and […]

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