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Emerging from the Global Crisis: Growth in African Low-Income Countries

The global financial crisis had a negative impact on growth in most countries, but according to a new International Monetary Fund (IMF) study, “Emerging from the Global Crisis: Macroeconomic Challenges Facing Low-Income Countries,” real per capita GDP growth stayed positive in two-thirds of low-income countries. That performance stands in sharp contrast to the experience of previous global downturns. However, from a regional perspective, low-income countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Middle East and Central Asia are expected to recover from the global crisis more slowly than their counterparts in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

On December 17, the Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings hosted a discussion of the IMF study with particular focus on why African countries are faring better than many other countries. Hugh Bredenkamp, deputy director of the IMF’s Strategy, Policy and Review Department, presented the report and its specific findings on low-income countries in Africa. The presentation was followed by a discussion with Ezra Suruma, distinguished visiting fellow at Brookings, and Ben Leo, research fellow at the Center for Global Development.

Brookings Senior Fellow Mwangi Kimenyi, director of the Africa Growth Initiative, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion. After the program, the panelists took audience questions.

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