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African Successes - Listing the success stories

The broad criteria used for identifying successes: observable development achievements and outcomes that are sustainable and that offer the potential for scale up

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I.  Successful growth experiences—pace and quality of economic growth

  1. Achieving shared growth in post-stabilization Mozambique
  2. Successful reformer: Tanzania's transformation to an open market economy
  3. Uganda: A decade of strong growth, but limited economic transformation
  4. After growing at a steady pace for over a decade, Burkina Faso is beginning to diversify its highly cotton-dependent economy
  5. Mauritius: Adapting to a changing world
  6. Botswana: Sustained economic progress through prudent macroeconomic management, institutional development, and good governance

II.  Institutions and governance

  1. Rebuilding local governments in post-conflict Sierra Leone
  2. Promoting fiscal accountability and transparency in post-conflict economies: Liberia's Governance and Economic Management Assistance Program (GEMAP)
  3. South Africa's political transformation and sound macroeconomic management: laying the foundation for sustained growth and development
  4. Fiscal decentralization: Lagos State’s progress in strengthening public finance management and service delivery

III.  Competitiveness and export dynamism


  1. Exporting fruits: Mangoes from Mali; bananas and pineapples from Ghana
  2. Reforms have transformed Rwanda’s coffee sector and boosted exports
  3. Uganda:  Scaling up quantity and quality: success of the fish-processing industry
  4. Kenya’s success in increasing its global market share of cut flowers
  5. Zambia and Cameroon: Following different paths to developing the cotton sector
  6. Ghana’s cocoa sector is showing impressive growth as supply has responded to policy reforms, which allow a larger pass through of world cocoa prices to producers


  1. Improvements in product quality, marketing and management are helping to re-establish and grow Ethiopia’s footwear industry
  2. Responding to trade opportunities: The case of Lesotho’s apparel industry
  3. Leveraging regional markets to build Africa's domestic manufacturing sector
  4. Indigenous African financial services companies: Venturing into the regional market


  1. Rwanda: Leveraging gorilla tourism for development
  2. Cape Verde: tourism has played a key role in the country’s successful graduation to middle income status


  1. An early reformer: Senegal’s privatization of its telecommunications operator Sonatel
  2. Uganda-Rural development fund: Uganda is benefiting from having one of the most liberal ICT markets in the region

IV.  Agriculture and rural development

  1. KickStart Irrigation Pumps: Adapting technology to development challenges
  2. Raising yields: The case for fertilizer subsidies (recent experience from Malawi)

V.  Access to finance

Microfinance providing access and financial products for underserved populations

  1. Reaching rural markets: Equity Building Society of Kenya and Ethiopia's Amhara Credit and Savings Institution
  2. Kenyan Finance Women's Trust—bringing financial services to women
  3. Burkina Faso: Providing financial services to rural populations through financial cooperatives - the case of RCPB

VI.  Infrastructure - improving efficiency and leveraging the private sector

 Information communication technology

  1. Connecting a continent: Africa’s mobile success story


  1. Road funding institutional schemes implemented across African countries are showing some steady improvements in road quality associated with more management oriented financing
  2. Lagos City’s Bus Rapid Transit system—the first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa, and the first example of a comprehensive and integrated approach to improving public transport—is providing clean, safe, and reliable public transport 


  1. Mali is expanding rural electrification through an adaptive and multi-layered approach that mobilizes local private sector operators and community organizations in the delivery of energy services

Access to safe water

  1. Connecting rural populations to water supply: Ethiopia - making progress on the water MDG; Uganda - progress in expanding well/borehole coverage for rural populations
  2. The Ouagadougou Water Supply Project has connected over 90% of the city’s population to the water supply system from 30% in 2001 and improved efficiency of the public utility
  3. The Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Pilot Project in Madagascar brings “eau pour tous” and revives a neglected sector

Improving health and education outcomes

  1. Rwanda: Scaling up performance incentives to improve health delivery
  2. Controlling malaria, saving lives: Eritrea has dramatically lowered the incidence of malaria—malaria deaths were 80% lower in 2006 compared to 2001; the Zambia Malaria Booster Project has contributed to reducing malaria cases and deaths—malaria cases declined by 31% and malaria deaths by 37% between 2006-08;  Kenya is using the impact evaluation results of a pilot intervention on school-based preventive treatment of malaria to scale up malaria control through schools
  3. HIV prevention efforts are having an impact: A majority of Sub-Saharan African countries observed improvements in behavior change of men and women aged 15-24, with 67% of countries that conducted a population-based survey reporting an increase in the use of condoms during last sex with a non-regular partner.
  4. Many Sub-Saharan African countries have seen a remarkable increase in HIV treatment coverage: in Namibia, antiretroviral therapy coverage has risen from under 1% in 2003 to 88% in 2007; in Rwanda, therapeutic coverage increased from 1% in 2003 to almost 71% in 2007, aided by a 40-fold growth in the number of antiretroviral treatment sites; in Botswana, the coverage rate was around 80%; and in the Democratic Republic of Congo, treatment adherence rates in some conflict-affected areas are comparable with those reported in non-conflict settings.
  5. Eliminating Measles--the Southern Africa initiative has through vaccinations virtually eliminated childhood death from measles in seven African countries.
  6. Raising primary school completion rates: Guinea and Niger have more than doubled primary school completion rates since 2000.