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For Immediate Release Contact:

Monica Hill

Tuesday, March 5, 2002

John Ward




The Commerce Department recently released a comprehensive report titled Africa: Financial Sectors—A Guide to the Financial Infrastructure of Sub-Saharan Africa. In recent years, many countries of Africa have always been viewed as a difficult financial market because of the region’s political and economic problems. But now, due in part to liberalization, many African nations have reformed their markets by entering into regional cooperation agreements that facilitate trade and are taking steps toward currency convertibility. The financial infrastructures of these countries — including banks, insurers, stock markets, and other financial institutions — will provide the underpinning for future stability and growth in the region.

This report looks at the financial infrastructures of 28 sub-Saharan African countries, providing concise details on the laws, institutions, recent history, and political trends that are guiding change in each of their economies. Four appendices provide basic information on the financial commitments extended to sub-Saharan Africa by the Export-Import Bank, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the International Finance Corporation.

Copies of "Africa: Financial Sectors" are available for purchase from the Superintendent of Documents. To order, call (202) 512-1800, or place a secure order on the Internet at http://bookstore.gpo.gov. Ask for stock number 003-009-00724-1. The price is $10.50 per copy, including postage ($13.13 for non-U.S. orders). The full text of the report is also available for download from the Internet at trade.gov/media/publications.html.

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