Africa Rising

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A conference in Maputo will look at how the continent can finance its enormous transport and energy needs and how to sustain growth.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Government of Mozambique will co-host a conference on May 29th-30th in Maputo to take stock of Sub-Saharan Africa’s strong economic performance and the ongoing challenges. The Africa Rising conference will also explore how to strengthen the partnership between the IMF and its African member countries.

It will bring together policymakers from Africa and beyond, and leaders from the private sector, civil society, and academia with the goal of exploring avenues to sustain the region’s current growth performance and sharing the benefits more widely among all the populations.

“We are very much looking forward to listening to all our partners in Africa,” said IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. “This event will broaden the policy discussion at this crucial juncture, bringing together all those committed to Africa’s continuing success.”

The conference is by invitation and will be streamed live over the internet. The guests will include finance ministers and central bank governors of some 50 African countries.

The IMF has predicted sub-Saharan Africa will see average growth of 6% in 2014. But poverty continues to be acute in many countries and job creation has not matched growth’s breakneck speed.

Host nation Mozambique is currently enjoying a resource-fuelled economic boom, which is set to deepen with the export of vast deposits of natural gas. The economy in 2014 is expected to post growth of 8.3 %, with moderate inflation of 5.6 %, IMF representative Alex Segura said recently in Maputo. Yet the country is still recovering from a near 16-year civil war and relies on international donors for a third of its budget. It remains one of the world’s poorest countries with many people living on less than $1 a day.

Roger Nord of the IMF’s Africa Department said the Africa Rising conference would look at how the continent can finance its enormous transport and energy needs and how resource extraction can benefit ordinary Africans.

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