SSA corporate funding: IMF – Take the long view on Africa

Catherine Snowdon
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Abebe Aemro Selassie, deputy director of the IMF’s African department, urges policymakers in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to focus on making sure banking systems are robust. Rather than looking for short-term rewards of opening credit lines, he wants to see well-capitalized and regulated banks in countries where fiscal deficits are controlled.

  Abebe Aemro Selassie, deputy director, IMF’s African Department

What is the biggest economic challenge facing SSA?

This is a huge region we are talking about, with an extremely diverse group of countries and circumstances. The region has been doing very well in the last 10 to 15 years. But the single most-important challenge is to sustain the growth we have seen since 2000. We’ve seen average economic growth increase sharply.

About two-thirds of the countries in the region have enjoyed 10 or more years of uninterrupted economic growth. In a quarter of the countries, that period is coming close to 20 years. In the likes of Rwanda, Senegal, Mozambique, Uganda and Tanzania, we have seen very sustained periods of economic growth.

This growth has been built with a backdrop of very sound macroeconomic policies and stability addressing the health and education investment needs that these...