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EXECUTIVE BUREAU – NAIROBI - Session of 7-8 May 2009 - page 4 / 22





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While Africa was not seriously affected in the beginning by the global financial crisis due to its low level of financial integration, it is no longer spared by the crisis. In some respects, it is more seriously affected than the other continents. The African continent is no longer spared by the effects of the crisis which has disastrous social consequences for the workers and the peoples. It is currently affected by the consequences because of the shocks and disturbance coming from the global economy through international markets which are the vehicles of transmission to national economies. Thus, in Africa, the effects of the crisis have spread through four main markets: The goods and services markets, the capital markets, the exchange markets and the labour markets.

Goods and services markets – One of the manifestations of the crisis and the global recession is the significant fall in the global demand for most products (goods and services). In Africa, this translated into a fall in the external demand for agricultural raw materials and minerals and a fall in the prices of most of these products. The price of a barrel of oil, for example, fell for more than half from USD 125.73 at the beginning of the financial crisis to roughly USD 50 in March 2009. During the same period, the prices of the following products also tended to fall: coal (66%), diamond (30%), silver (24%), platinum (36%), cotton (11%), cocoa (9%), coffee Arabica (21%), coffee Robusta (32%).

Regarding the services, the tourism sector has been significantly affected in African countries. In this sector, the number of in-coming tourists in most African countries has significantly fallen.

Capital markets – Despite the low level of financial integration of African economies, the financial markets have been strongly hit in the African countries where these markets exist. In general, contagion and interdependence have greatly affected most financial markets around the continent.

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