Wednesday, April 18, 2007

IMF Expects Liberia's Economy to Grow Over Next 5 Years

Source: Liberia's Economy to Grow by 11% BBC News

Liberia’s economy is projected to grow by 11% a year on average over the next five years, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Reconstruction projects and foreign investment will provide a much needed boost to Liberia’s economy, as will revival in the country’s mining, forestry, and agriculture.

The West African nation was hurt by years of civil war, and running water and electricity are still scarce. Liberia was once the world’s fifth largest iron ore exporter and home to the world’s largest rubber plantation.

The IMF said that to aid recovery Liberia must cut its debts of almost $4 billion.

Liberia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth grew by an estimated 7.8% last year with a similar growth rate expected for 2007.

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is a former World Bank economist who took over the task of rebuilding Liberia. Analysts say that once the country has managed to reduce the money it owes, it can make further inroads by qualifying for international debt relief.

Liberia was founded by black slaves who were freed from the U.S. in 1847.

Washington has supported the nation's efforts to clear the $1.5 billion it owes to the IMF and the World Bank. Earlier this year the Bush Administration waived the $391 million bilateral debt Liberia owed to the United States. In addition, the Bush administration committed $200 million in the next year to help Liberia.

Question: What else can be done to address Liberia's debt burden and the critical needs of Liberia's people?

No comments: