Building Resilience to Global Risks: Challenges for African Central Banks

BIS Papers No 93
August 2017

The policy response of many African commodity exporting economies to the slump in commodity prices after mid-2014 has been markedly different from that of commodity exporters elsewhere. First, few African countries allowed their currency to depreciate as much as other EMEs, for instance in Latin America. Instead they resorted mainly to administrative controls, despite the high economic costs associated with such measures. Second, many African economies kept their policy rates very low despite considerable exchange rate pressure and rising inflation. Again, this differs from the response of many Latin American commodity exporters, who raised policy rates in order to keep inflation expectations anchored. Finally, many African economies have been less successful than other EMEs in shielding their banks from the fallout of lower commodity prices, sharp depreciation and feeble growth.

JEL classification: E58, F32, F62

Keywords: African economies, exchange rate policy, commodity prices