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Finance professor studies economic gap between African countries and rest of the world

By Erin Durkin
On October 25, 2010

Although many Americans are very concerned with the internal economic problems plaguing their country, Lemma Senbet, the William E. Mayer chair professor of finance, understands the importance of looking at the growth of the global economy. Senbet has largely focused on the economies in Africa, where most of his recent research has taken place.

"Africa has recently seen rapid growth in their economies, but there is still a developing gap between African countries and the rest of the world," said Senbet.

According to Senbet, this gap partly results from the intrinsic "linkage between public policies and private sectors" and their functional discord.  He pointed to the recent U.S. recession as an example. 

"Public policy did not match up with the housing market, thus there was a great societal and governmental impact when it failed," said Senbet.

How can the economic growth in African countries affect the U.S.? 

"It will add diversification for financers," Senbet said.  "Africa adds more choices for investors so that they don't invest only in the U.S. economy.  In that way, it will put more money into the African economies, adding to the growth.  It will be mutually beneficial."

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