Africa-doing well, risks remain
Africa is doing well but there are a few worries around the corner. These include the impact of the euro zone debt crisis, the need for an orderly exit from domestic easing policies and overdependence on commodities, says Henri-Bernard Solignac-Lecomte, head of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s operations effectiveness unit.
The OECD, together with the African Development Bank, published an upbeat report on Africa this week, saying the continent will grow 4.5 percent this year and 5.2 percent next.
Solignac-Lecomte told an audience including financiers, journalists and environmentalists at a Royal African Society breakfast meeting in London this morning:
“We are not sure what is going to happen to the recovery in OECD countries and that has an impact on Africa which remains extremely exposed to demand in those economies. A key challenge is how these (African) countries can smoothly exit from counter-cyclical policies…having greater diversification of trading partners, Asia in particular, has worsened sectoral diversification.”
Copper producer Zambia has increased its dependency on unprocessed commodity exports due to Asian demand, Solignac-Lecomte said.
And perhaps reflecting some of the difficulties Africans face in the developed world, Solignac-Lecomte replaced AfDB economist Alex Mubiru as speaker, after Mubiru failed to get a UK visa in time.