World Bank outlines risks for new Africa strategy

The World Bank’s new Africa strategy, which was unveiled on Thursday, carries three main risks, including a volatile global economy, political violence and conflict, and inadequate resources.

The new strategy will focus on the three main pillars of competitiveness and employment; vulnerability and resilience; and governance and public sector capacity.

The World Bank’s vice-president for Africa, Obiageli Ezekwesili, said the new strategy took into account lessons learnt from previous plans for Africa and that there had been improvements.

“The monetary framework is now sharper,” she said.

Ezekwesili said that, although the bank had previously raised significant amounts for Africa’s development, there would still be a “need to scale up resources”.

Africa, and the sub-Saharan Africa region in particular, was expected to post higher growth rates in 2011.

According to Ezekwesili, although Africa continued to grow even during the recession, the growth had not been sufficient to tackle “deep developmental challenges” on the continent.

Undiversified structural economies, “serious unemployment” and low human capital were identified as some of the challenges facing African countries.

Ezekwesili called on governments to ensure the creation of an environment where skills were “properly priced” and opportunities for competitiveness of the economy created.—I-Net Bridge

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