African governments are cosying up to the IMF, with the hostility of the 1980s and '90s now a distant memory. At least 21 countries on the continent either have agreements with, or receive a degree of economic support from, the IMF. From Ghana in West Africa to Egypt in the north, Kenya in the east and Malawi in the south, the IMF's reach on the continent is far and wide and ticking up. Several other African countries, such as Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe, are knocking at the institution's doors, seeking support programmes. The possibility of South Africa reaching for outside help has fuelled speculation that an IMF programme could also be on the horizon here. Last month, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said South Africa might consider seeking assistance from outside if the economy failed to improve. GDP is expected to grow just 0.6% in 2017, down from the forecast of 1% in May, and only 1.2% in 2018. Winning formula? "Should the main indicators continue to disappoint any further ...

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