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Tag Archives: Africa

Chart of the WeekVoting on Gender Parity

By Rasmane Ouedraogo Español, Português Electoral violence occurs in many African countries. Tragically, thousands are killed and displaced during election cycles on the continent. Over the next year and a half, Presidential elections are scheduled in thirteen sub-Saharan African countries, raising fears that, as in the past, violent incidents or conflict may erupt again. But what can African nations do to lessen electoral violence? Can women then, be the leading force for democratic and...

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New Index Tracks Trade Uncertainty Across the Globe

By Hites Ahir, Nicholas Bloom, and Davide Furceri Español, Português Rising trade uncertainty is cited as a driving factor for “sluggish global growth” in the current issue of the IMF’s World Economic Outlook, which describes the state of the world economy. But how is trade uncertainty measured? How has it evolved over time? Are changes in trade uncertainty confined to specific countries and regions of the world? A new measure of trade uncertainty finds that by this measure of uncertainty...

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Five Facts on Fintech

By Tobias Adrian and Ceyla Pazarbasioglu From artificial intelligence to mobile applications, technology helps to increase your access to secure and efficient financial products and services. Since fintech offers the chance to boost economic growth and expand financial inclusion in all countries, the IMF and World Bank surveyed central banks, finance ministries, and other relevant agencies in 189 countries on a range of topics and received 96 responses. A new paper details the results of...

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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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