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Shanta Devarajan's blog

Faut-il dévaluer?

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Etant donné l’appréciation de l’Euro vis-à-vis du dollar, la question de la parité du Franc CFA (qui est fixé à l’Euro) doit être encore soulevée.  L’appréciation est comparable à celle des années 1985-1993 [voir graphique].  Pendant cette période, les économies des pays de la zone CFA ont connu une forte diminution de leur compétitivité, des exp

Real-financial sector links

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When asked about the East Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi reportedly said, “I wish we had their problems.”  I was reminded of this quip when thinking about the current financial crisis in the U.S. and its possible impact on Africa.  In the U.S., there is a constant fear that turmoil in financial markets will spill over to the real sector—in terms of slow growth and unemployment. 

Is Africa growing too fast?

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Your first reaction to the title of this post may be: “Just when, for the first time in thirty years, Africa’s per capita GDP is growing (see Graph below) at the same rate as all developing countries, why are you asking whether Africa is growing too fast?”  The reason is that we would like to know whether this growth is sustainable. Two colleagues at a recent conference on this topic offered some sobering thoughts.

To promote exports, look behind the border

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In the past, policy advice on promoting trade in Africa may have overstressed the need for African countries to bring down their own trade barriers, such as import tariffs, and insufficiently emphasized the need to improve trade logistics, infrastructure, business competition, and regulation.

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