Economy

  • The world's richest countries, which promised in 2005 to double their aid to Africa within 5 years to help lift the poorest continent out of poverty by 2015, have neglected their promise: at the current rate of donations, none of the UN's Africa-focused goals will be met by 2015 (Washington Post, 25 April)
  • Increased ODA to Africa has mostly consisted of debt relief; to meet pledged increase by 2010, donors will need to increase aid to Africa by 16% a year
  • Sub-Saharan Africa received $12.5 billion in FDI this year, down from $13.8 billion last year, though both are still much higher than any past amount of FDI
  • Growth in Africa is likely to average 6% in 2007, compared with a world gross domestic product growth of 3.4 % this year (The UN 2007 mid-year World Economic Situation and Prospect Report)
  • However, this growth is highly concentrated in a narrow range of activities (largely based on raw materials' vulnerable to downturn in cycles) making many African economies extremely vulnerable to exogenous factors such as aid flows (Reuter News-African economies grow, but prosperity elusive, 28 May 2007)
  • After Middle East/North. Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa had the smallest amount of total cross-border loan commitments in 2006, with $18.8 billion; Europe and Central Asia, the largest recipient by region, had $93.6
  • Sub-Saharan Africa's GDP is projected to grow steadily at about 5.8% each year for the next 3 years; the average projection for developing countries is 6.7%
  • Sub-Saharan Africa's growth rate will remain most constant compared with East Asia, which is higher but decreasing, Europe, which is slightly higher and decreasing, Latin America, which is lower and decreasing, South Asia, which is much higher and decreasing, and the Middle East, which is lower and increasing.
  • Only two African countries, Seychelles and South Africa, have entered the international bond market, though others are expected to in 2007
  • Ongoing natural and political obstacles have hampered growth; Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, DRC, Eritrea, Lesotho, Nigeria, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe all face political turmoil which undermines possibilities of growth
  • Countries with metal or mineral industries (Burundi, DRC, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia) have benefited from high international prices
  • Reform-oriented economies have done well, including Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Senegal, Tanzania; as have countries emerging from conflict-Burundi, Sierra Leone, Liberia, DRC
  • High fuel costs and energy scarcity remains a prevailing challenge in Africa
  • Oil-exporting countries primarily benefit from increased FDI; resource industries, towards which most FDI is directed, however, grow faster than the rest of the economy
  • Energy shortages may constrain output in Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia