Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to grow by around 5.5 percent this year - well above the global average - with some of its poorest countries expanding by closer to 7 percent,
But the IMF chief said although the region had become a growing investment destination for both advanced and emerging economies, with a record
"Poverty remains stuck at unacceptably high levels - still afflicting about 45 percent of the region's households," Lagarde told the meeting of African finance ministers and development experts.
Despite forecasts of continuing strong expansion for the region, its positive outlook has been darkened this year with flare-ups of conflict, insurgency and violence. This has ranged from civil war in the world's newest state,
Other risks included lower prices for some commodities, tighter external financial conditions and market volatility.
The IMF head recommended three priorities to ensure the region's growth can be wide, inclusive and sustained: "Build infrastructure, build institutions, and build people."
She cited as an example the fact that over the past three decades, per capita output of electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa remained virtually flat. Only 16 percent of all roads were paved, compared with 58 percent in
The IMF chief said
This would ensure that revenues and benefits from the continent's mineral riches -
"For this to happen, however, 'good' jobs need to be created in the private sector. Today, only one in five people in
Technology could extend access to financial services to millions, and this was already happening in several countries, such as
"Africa Rising will benefit the lives of people on the continent. Beyond that, Africa Rising will benefit the world," Lagarde said.
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