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Economists Are Hopeful About Africa's Economy



For VOA Learning English, this is the Economics Report.

Last week, we reported that international economists released a hopeful report about Africa’s economy. The African Development Bank, the United Nations Development Program, and the OECD Development Center wrote the report. It predicts economic growth on the continent could reach five or six percent over the next two years.

Economists expect seven percent growth in West Africa’s economy in the next two years. They say oil continues to be a major source of income, but that other industries are also important. Growth in Nigeria is coming from agriculture, trade and information, and communications technology. Manufacturing is helping Ghana grow. Sierra Leone is the fastest-growing country in the area because of its iron ore exports as well as its agriculture and building industries.

In Southern Africa, Angola, Mozambique and Zambia are expected to grow between five and seven percent. Labor problems and weak foreign export markets have affected growth in South Africa. But that country is still expected to grow almost three percent over the next two years. Angela Lusigi is an economist and policy advisor for the Regional Bureau for Africa in the UN Development Program. She says many countries are working to balance their budgets. And they have solid financial policies. She says the next question is how to make those improved policies result in growth that helps all of a country’s citizens. She says inequality remains a big problem in Africa. Ms. Lusigi says it is important to have growth that affects all people and not just one group.