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Change in commodity futures prices YTD May 8, 2020: Cocoa (-4.8%); Wheat (+3.7%); Maize (-17.5%); ICE Natural gas (-55%); Gold (+12.1%); Soyabeans (-23.1%); Cotton (-18.2%); Rough rice (+27.2%); Platinum (-18.5%); Arabica coffee (-15.1%); Brent crude oil (-53.3%); Copper (-14.6%); Sugar (-23.3%);     Whilst Africa's growth in 2020 could fall to its lowest since the 2008/9 global financial crisis, the asymmetric nature of shocks facing the region, coupled with increasing investment and cross-border trade, should help the region recover speedily.

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July 24, 2021

Franc commentary:The CFA franc and what the Italian deputy PM said

“Luigi Di Maio, Italian deputy prime minister… accused the French government of manipulating the economies of mainly former French colonies in Africa, which use a form of the pre-independence currency known as a CFA franc.” Source: BBC

Cameroon-Currency-Central-African-CFAfrancFranc commentary: Myriad of African economists have argued on both sides of this issue over recent decades, so, that there is a buzz around the (Italian) deputy PM’s statement speaks more to hegemonies of knowledge dissemination than to the issue itself. That it also comes from the fringes of the political spectrum should give stakeholders in the CFA franc region pause so as not to be unwittingly drawn into a non-regional tug-of war.

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