Saturday, August 6, 2011

Africa investment urged to boost world economy

WASHINGTON — With an ailing US economy, European debt battles and Japan rebuilding after a crisis, investors should be looking south -- to Africa, the head of the African Development Bank said.

Investing in the continent at a time when developed countries' economies are struggling would boost the world economy, Donald Kaberuka told AFP in an interview in Washington this week.

Africa is rich in mineral wealth and proven oil reserves, has a growing, urban middle class and undeveloped infrastructure.

And its leaders are working to improve security, stability and rule of law. They have also learned from the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East that economic advances have to benefit a country's people, not just its president and his inner circle, in order to be sustainable.

"Opportunities elsewhere are not many. So Africa is the opportunity," Kaberuka said.

"Some of our bonds are better than, certainly, Greek bonds."

Economies in sub-Saharan Africa are projected to grow at 5.6 percent this year and 6.5 percent next year, with a dozen countries growing at the critical rate of seven percent, considered the minimum for sustainable poverty reduction.

"Growth now is happening in emerging markets," Kaberuka said. read more

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