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Economic outlook for Latin America: A virtual conversation

Carlos Ferreyra's picture

Latin America received good news about its 2011 economic growth projection last week in front of a global audience that interacted with World Bank experts via the web and social networks during the 2011 Spring Meetings.

The good news is that the regional economy will keep growing in 2011 at 4-5%. In view of such projections, typical problems such as runaway inflation seem to have become a thing of the past.

Growth forecasts for 2011 equal those for the fast-growing “tigers” or East Asian economies, according to the Latin America and the Caribbean’s Success Put to the Test report.

What will it take to confront global crises?

Vinod Thomas's picture

Three interlinked global crises—food, economic, climate—were high on the agenda of this year’s Bank-IMF Spring Meetings. At a conference organized by the Independent Evaluation Group and World Bank Institute, a panel of experts—Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner; Hans Herren, President, Millennium Institute; Trevor Manuel, Minister, National Planning Commission, South Africa; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Managing Director, World Bank; Robert Watson, Chief Scientific Advisor, Government of UK— discussed not only the impact of each crisis, but crucially the links among them in seeking joint solutions.

What would it take to transform Africa's energy sector?

Jamal Saghir's picture

What would it take to transform Africa’s energy sector? This is the question we grappled with in a discussion on Friday with Energy and Finance ministers from across Africa. The discussion was part of a standing-room only event that took place during World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings. The discussion could have gone much longer than the scheduled two hours; this is because so many of us feel so strongly about Africa's energy situation.

Development Committee: Food Prices Remain Top Concern

Julia Ross's picture

Food prices are the biggest threat today to the world’s poor, World Bank President Bob Zoellick told reporters at an April 16 press conference following the meeting of the Development Committee of the World Bank and IMF. “We are one shock away from a full-fledged crisis,” said Zoellick.

In their final communiqué, Committee members expressed concern that “overheating in some sectors, especially food and energy, is resulting in price pressures and volatility.”

Making agriculture work for jobs

Obiageli Ezekwesili's picture

Woman farmer in Madagascar

There is a jobs cow waiting to be milked in Africa. It is agriculture and agri-business.

In its initial condition, Africa’s agriculture bears a striking resemblance to its telecom sector in the late 1990s. A decade on, a combination of right policies and strengthened  regulatory framework has seen the sector open up to free enterprise,  attracting about $60 billion in private investments and leading to today’s ICT boom: 450 million mobile phones in Africa, which is more mobile phones than Canada, Mexico and the USA combined.

Arab world unemployment: Relief in the short run?

Julia Ross's picture

On our Arab Voices and Views blog, Steen Jorgensen writes about high unemployment in the Middle East and North Africa, where governments are wondering how to provide immediate relief while keeping their economies growing.

"The answer for those with lower skills probably lies in providing government-funded contracts to small entrepreneurs for labor-intensive upgrading and rehabilitation of basic infrastructure such as roads and irrigation canals," he writes.

Experts debate solutions to food crisis at World Bank Open Forum

Donna Barne's picture



The problem of high and volatile food prices that have driven 44 million people in to poverty in recent months was debated at the World Bank’s Open Forum – a two-hour webcast event on the food crisis incorporating feedback from 3,000 participants in a 24-hour chat and more than 500 suggestions and comments that flooded in from people in 91 countries before the event.

Civil society talks food price volatility, support to farmers

Sarah Holmberg's picture



As the Bank reported earlier this week, global food prices are rising to dangerous levels and threaten tens of millions of poor people around the world. Rising prices have pushed an estimated 44 million people into poverty since last June.

Dani Rodrik speaks on structural change

Julia Ross's picture

Dani Rodrik, professor of international political economy at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, visited the World Bank yesterday to deliver a lecture on "Structural Change and Economic Growth."

The Bank's Merrell Tuck-Primdahl has a nice summary of the speech and a video chat with Rodrik over on the Let's Talk Development blog.

Sierra Leone: Impressions from Moyamba and Fourah Bay

Ritva Reinikka's picture



As we head into Spring Meetings in Washington, Sierra Leone is very much in my thoughts, because it is a country that faces many serious challenges—especially those relating to the survival of women and children—and because I’ve just returned from there, and have seen firsthand some of the efforts that are being made to turn this situation around.

This was an opportunity to look at human development in Sierra Leone through the lens of our

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