IMF & COMMONWEALTH ON AFRICA
The global financial crisis has worsened significantly for sub-Saharan Africa. Demand for African exports and commodity export prices have fallen, and remittance flows may be weakening. Tighter global credit and investor risk aversion have led to a reversal of portfolio inflows, less favorable conditions for trade finance, and could lower foreign direct investment. As a result, growth has started to slow markedly and fiscal and balance of payments pressures are mounting. Risks remain high and the prospects for recovery remain uncertain. Financial systems in the region have so far been resilient to the global crisis, but the economic slowdown is likely to increase credit risk and nonperforming loans and weaken financial institutions’ balance sheets. Sub-Saharan African countries should seek to contain the adverse impact of the crisis on economic growth and poverty, while preserving important hard-won gains of recent years, including macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability.