At a time when advanced economies across the globe are struggling with weak demographics, declining long-term growth rates and a rising debt burden, Africa stands out as a continent of opportunity. But it also remains fragile to outside risks and domestic structural barriers, complicating the popular 'Africa rising' narrative.
This edition of The Bulletin explores the nuances behind Africa's divergent economic prospects. Contributors look at initiatives such as the Continental Free Trade Area and the establishment of an African common market, as well as individual countries' efforts to leverage technology and innovative financing to promote integration.
Central banks, sovereign funds and public pension funds have an important role to play in promoting deep, liquid and efficient capital markets. These are necessary to facilitate the maturing of African economies as they diversify away from a dependence on natural resources. This has been a major area of focus for OMFIF. Next month we launch the second edition of the Absa Africa Financial Markets Index.
The AFMI launch is one of several meetings that OMFIF is organising on the fringes of the International Monetary Fund-World Bank Group meetings in Bali. We are proud to continue a strong partnership with the Fund, and this month it is our pleasure to welcome Mark Sobel, the US Treasury veteran and former US representative at the IMF, to OMFIF as US chairman.
Key contributors to this edition of The Bulletin include:
• Hippolyte Fofack, chief economist of the African Export-Import Bank;
• Pauline Anaman, head of policy at the Africa Centre for Energing Policy;
• Maria Ramos, chief executive officer of Absa Group;
• and Marcelo Giugale, director of financial advisory and banking at the World Bank.