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P.M. BRIEFING : Hope Seen in African Economies

<i> From Times wire services </i>

After several years of economic decline, many sub-Saharan African countries are showing encouraging signs of turning themselves around, a World Bank report said today.

“The evidence of the past three years leaves room for optimism,” the report declared. “These encouraging signs, though still preliminary, augur well for the future.”

The bank hopes the report will encourage the African nations to continue reforms and encourage the international community to continue financial support. “Prospects for recovery in Africa appear to be much sounder than a lot of people thought,” said senior economist Charles Humphreys, one of the report’s authors.

Many economic trends are becoming positive in the region, he said. Agriculture has improved strongly, while exports, excluding oil, grew by 3% a year between 1985 and 1987.

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