A new report says Africa has been “gravely affected” by the global economic downturn and that its growth rate will halve this year due to collapsing commodity prices and a decline in donor funding.

The 2009 African Economic Outlook finds that after a decade of above 5 percent economic growth, the continent can expect only 2.8 percent in 2009.

The report by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development was released Monday.

The independent international organization’s report covers 47 African countries and anticipates growth rebounding to 4.5 per cent in 2010. It notes that Africa is better positioned to weather the crisis than it was a decade ago thanks to reforms.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.