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Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa on solid growth course, survey claims

The World Bank says more investment in resources and infrastructure will help sub-Saharan Africa stay on a remarkable growth course. But, it warns, political uncertainties could destabilize those economies.

In a twice-yearly economic analysis, the World Bank Monday predicted sub-Saharan Africa to log 5.2-percent growth in 2014, up from 4.7 percent a last year.

The survey, dubbed "Africa's Pulse," said a solid expansion of economies would continue to hinge on rising investment in natural resources and infrastructure as well as on strong household spending.

The bank emphasized growth was particularly robust in resource-rich nations in the region, including Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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The report said net foreign direct investment to the region grew by 16 percent to a near-record $43 billion (31.33 billion euros) in 2013, boosted by new oil and gas deposits in some countries, including Angola, Mozambique and Tanzania.

Inflation in sub-Saharan Africa slowed to a rate 6.3 percent in 2013, compared with 10.7 percent a year earlier.

However, the World Bank also warned of risk factors that could underdo economic growth.

"Poor physical infrastructure will continue to limit the region's growth potential, said Makhtar Diop, the World Bank's Vice President for Africa.

"Significantly more infrastructure spending is needed in most countries in the region," if they are to achieve a lasting transformation of their economies.

The survey also addressed domestic risks associated with social and political unrest, calling them a major threat to economic prosperity in the region.

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