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IMF Boss discusses Sub-Sahara Regional Economic Outlook

30,Nov 2015
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By David Remie Wilson

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Resident representative to Sierra Leone Dr. Iyabo Masha last week discussed the 2015 October Economic Outlook  Dealing with the Gathering Clouds – with stakeholders in the economic sector in Serra Leone.
Presenting chapter 1 of the report “Dealing with the Gathering Clouds,” Dr. Masha stated the problems Sub-Sahara Africa is facing in growing its economies, improving its competitiveness and breaking barriers of inequality in terms of gender and income distribution compared to other regions of the world.

The seminar took place in the conference hall of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in Freetown.
With the aid of power-point slides, Dr. Masha stated that Sub-Saharan Africa depends on commodities to grow their economies and therefore a fall in commodity prices at any time affect these countries or make them volatile to shocks.
Growth in the Ebola affected countries is projected below 4 percent compared to Ivory Coast one of the countries forecast to grow above 5 percent in 2015.
Iron ore price fell by up to 60 percent this year and projected to deepen further in 2016. The country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) therefore contracted or projected to contract by 21.5 percent GDP this year. The prices of tea and cocoa did not fall in 2015 according to the report. Ivory Coast is the world’s largest exporter of cocoa.
The fall in oil prices also affected the oil exporting countries in sub-Sahara Africa. A ton of rutile sells around US$800. A ton of iron ore is still below US$50.
This gloomy picture of Sub-Sahara Africa is the ‘gathering clouds’ that need policy reforms and pro-poor moves to increase economic activity in the sub-continent.

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