IMF urges African countries to diversify their economies

KIGALI (Reuters) – African countries facing falling commodity prices should diversify their economies, control expenditure and increase tax revenues to offset their loss of income, said Thursday the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Bank African development.

Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is likely to slow to 3% in 2016, the lowest in nearly 20 years because, besides the fall in commodity prices, drought in southern and eastern Africa and consequences the Ebola outbreak last year in West Africa, said recently the IMF.

“We must assume that the prices (commodities) will remain low for a long time,” said David Lipton, First Deputy Managing Director of the IMF, during a press conference at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Kigali, Rwanda .

“It would be logical that countries are starting to adjust (…) which means control expenses, finding ways to diversify economies, find ways to have other forms of income through the tax system” he added.

On the sidelines of the conference, Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, found important for African countries to develop new revenue sources going against the commodity cycle.

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