Thursday, May 26, 2005

African growth rate highest this century

Growth in Africa in 2004 was the highest for 8 years, according to a recent report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the African Development Bank.

Central Africa saw a 14.4% rise in growth in 2004 due to the expansion of its oil production capacity. East Africa grew by 6.8%, while West Africa grew by just half that amount, 3.4%, noted the BBC.

Surely West Africa's figures were hurt by the devastating civil war in Côte d'Ivoire, one of the region's main economic engine, even if conflicts wound down in smaller economies like Senegal, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Greater political stability in some countries and a significant rise in official development aid to Africa helped foster growth.
African agricultural production also took a turn for the better after the ending of the drought of 2003, which hit Ethiopia, Malawi and Rwanda.

Though the report warned that conflicts in Zimbabwe, Côte d'Ivoire and the DR Congo, as well as the Darfur genocide will hinder those countries' economic chances.

Additionally, The report highlighted what it calls the "missing middle", the shortage of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).

Outside of North Africa, Mauritius and South Africa, successful businesses tend to be either very small, such as cooked food sellers, hairdressers and tailors, or very large, such as oil companies or multinationals.

Lack of access to affordable bank loans and credit is the biggest obstacle to the development of African SMEs, the report found.


At 7:43 AM, Blogger Black River Eagle said...

Thanks for this invaluable report from the OECD. I would have missed the news that the report has been published if it were not for your posting.

Unfortunately the full 540 page report African Economic Outlook 2004/2005 is not presently available either at the OECD site or at the SourceOECD site. The OECD Bookstore URL doesn't even work at all. Plus they want you to pay for the darn thing after we citizens of the OECD member countries have already paid for this work and more via our taxes.

If you can get your hands on an online copy of the report (free or stolen) then let me know.

Have a nice holiday weekend back in Upstate New York...:-) I can smell and hear those barbecue T-bone USDA Prime steaks sizzling on the grills all across America all the way over here in Deutschland!

Unfortunately we have to watch what we eat over here in Europa. Their homegrown foods could be contaminated with U.S.A. GM poisoning or something!

At 5:19 AM, Blogger Black River Eagle said...

Trash can the last paragraph in my previous comment re: GM foods. That was unfair of me and very immature and not related at all to African Growth and Development.


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