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Capital Markets

Africa: Local capital markets forecast for strong growth

G8 agreement could spur development

Fast forward 10 years and African countries could constitute the largest section of the JPMorgan Emerging Market Government Bond Index. It might sound incredible, but this is the prediction of many who believe the result of the $50 billion debt relief package agreed at last month's G8 summit will be that Africa's governments push the development of local capital markets.

As campaigners and politicians have been quick to point out, the deal that the G8 leaders signed in Gleneagles, Scotland, on July 8, will not bring an end overnight to the poverty that affects much of the continent.

"Debt relief is not a panacea for these governments," says Konrad Reuss, managing director of sovereign ratings in EEMEA at Standard & Poor's in London.

He argues that that the correlation between debt reduction and economic growth is vague, and capacity constraints will limit the effective use of any additional money released by the G8 ministers' pledge. "Even if all debt were forgiven," he says, "most of these governments would still require significant levels of external donor assistance in the medium term."

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