Implications of Monetary Policy for Credit and Investment in Sub-Saharan African Countries

Leonce Ndikumana investigates the implications of monetary policy for credit and investment in sub-Saharan African countries. He argues that the pursuit of inflation control leads to reduced investment and ultimately lower economic growth. The paper’s conclusion is based on a sample of 27 sub-Saharan African countries from 1980-2012. The results suggest that policies that maintain a low interest-rate regime would stimulate bank lending to the private sector, which in turn would boost domestic investment. These results have important policy implications for African countries in their efforts to increase employment creation and reduce poverty.

Abstract

This paper investigates the implications of monetary policy for domestic investment through its effects on bank lending to the private sector and interest rates in sub-Saharan African countries. The study argues that the pursuit of inflation control through contractionary monetary policy carries high costs in terms of reduced investment and ultimately slower economic growth. The econometric evidence based on a sample of 37 sub-Saharan African countries over 1980- 2012 shows that contractionary monetary policy affects domestic investment negatively both indirectly through the bank lending or quantity channel as well as directly through the interest rate or cost of capital channel. The results suggest that policies that maintain a low interest rate regime would stimulate bank lending to the private sector, which in turn would boost domestic investment. The results have important policy implications for African countries in their efforts to achieve and sustain high growth rates as a means of reaching their national
development goals notably employment creation and poverty reduction.

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