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Tag Archives: Africa

Chart of the WeekKeeping the Wheels of Commerce Turning

By IMFBlog The tariff disputes roiling markets are a reminder that the global system of free trade, which has delivered so much prosperity, is a fragile one. We all know what happened in the 1930s, when trade wars only served to deepen the misery inflicted by the Great Depression. That is why, after World War II, countries agreed to gradually reduce tariffs. But many continued to restrict flows of goods across borders in other ways as they sought to give their domestic industries an edge...

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Fintech in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Potential Game Changer

By Amadou N. R. Sy If you are reading this blog—drawn by current buzz around financial technology and the "fintech” reference in the title, and its promise to democratize financial services—then it is probably a safe bet to assume that you have heard of M-Pesa. This mobile payments system started in Kenya in 2007 now boasts 30 million users in 10 countries, with other competitors, such as MTN Money and Orange Money, also operating around the continent. The use of mobile money has grown...

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Chart of the Week: Sub-Saharan Africa’s Growth—A Tale of Different Experiences

By IMFBlog December 13, 2018 Villagers of Moruleng mining community in South Africa; Sub-Saharan Africa countries can see an increase in growth by relying less on commodities and more on non-resource intensive investments. (Photo: SIPHIWE SIBEKI/Reuters/Newscom) The story of Africa’s growth rate over recent years is a tale with several story lines.  Key to the tale is the degree of dependence on commodities.  Our Chart of the Week shows how the greater a country’s reliance on...

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A New Social Contract

By Camilla Lund Andersen November 30, 2018 (photo: Michael Waraksa) As the world seeks to address the rise of populism and nationalism, it is becoming clear that economic insecurity lies at the heart of much of the discontent. In the wake of the global financial crisis, voters in wealthy countries began to lose faith in the state’s ability to protect them. The profound changes sweeping labor markets, caused by the rise of technology and continued globalization, have only deepened this...

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Realizing the Potential of the G20 Compact with Africa

By Christine Lagarde October 30, 2018 Power Plant, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. The G20 Compact with Africa was initiated under the German G20 Presidency to promote private investment in Africa, including in infrastructure. So far, eleven African countries have joined the initiative: Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo and Tunisia (photo: Thierry Gouegnon/Reuters/Newsom) The Compact with Africa focuses on a fundamental challenge for the...

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The Wealth of Nations: Governments Can Better Manage What They Own and Owe

By Vitor Gaspar, Jason Harris, and Alexander Tieman October 10, 2018 A firefighter in Auckland, New Zealand: when governments know what they own they can put their assets to better use and can earn about 3 percent of GDP more in revenues to spend on citizens’ well being (Photo: Rafael Ben-Ari/Newscom) What is the state of your personal finances? You probably think first about your debts: your mortgage, your credit card balance, and your student loans. But you probably also think about...

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Global Growth Plateaus as Economic Risks Materialize

By Maurice Obstfeld October 9, 2018 عربي, 中文, Español, Français, Baˈhasa indoneˈsia, 日本語, Русский Uncertainty over trade policy is becoming a drag on economic activity (photo: Imagine China/Newscom) The latest World Economic Outlook report projects that global growth will remain steady over 2018–19 at last year’s rate of 3.7 percent. This growth exceeds that achieved in any of the years between 2012 and 2016. It occurs as many economies have reached or are nearing full employment and...

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Give Today’s Children a Chance

By  Christine Lagarde and Vitor Gaspar September 24, 2018  中文  Français Children in early childhood education in Indonesia: more money put into education helps countries achieve their Sustainable Development Goals (Photo: Ajun-Ally/Pacific Press/Newscom) World leaders are gathering at the United Nations to discuss how to deliver on development for all that is economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable—“The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” and its 17 Sustainable...

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Chart of the Week: Educate Girls and Women to Boost Equality

By IMFBlog August 22, 2018 Versions in عربي, Français Schoolgirls in Valladolid, Mexico: Policies that focus on educating girls increase the likelihood that they will enter the labor force (photo: kertu_ee/iStock by Getty Images) Government policies have boosted women’s participation in the work force. But women still make up a smaller percentage of the labor force than men in most countries. Of the many policies available, such as education and legal rights, which ones provide the...

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Trade and Remittances Within Africa

By Francisco Arizala, Matthieu Bellon, Margaux MacDonald, Montfort Mlachila, and Mustafa Y. Yenice August 1, 2018  Versions in Français, Português Countries in sub-Saharan Africa are more closely tied than ever, thanks to rising trade with one another and remittances (photo: AfricaImages/Getty Images by iStock) Contrary to popular belief, countries in sub-Saharan Africa are more closely tied than ever, thanks to rising trade with one another and remittances—the money people send home...

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