At the recent Africa Economic Conference, UN under-secretary general and executive secretary of UNECA, Abdoulie Janneh, said "[Africa’s] previous growth, while benefiting from improved macroeconomic management, was largely dependent on commodity exports and resources flows from outside the continent."
Many of the objections to my blog post, “Another reason why aid to Africa must increase” centered around corruption. “I disagree. Africa needs to get rid of corruption…” said one commentator, while another said, “Aid to African countries must follow country steps in good governance, democracy, fighting corruption, etc.”
I think we can agree on the following two facts:
- There is considerable corruption in Africa. The recently-released Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index for 2009 finds 10 African countries in the bottom decile (with Somalia at the very bottom of the list). Of the 47 African countries reviewed, 31 scored less than 3 out of 10, “indicating that corruption is perceived as rampant.” Another data source, World Governance Indicators, reaches a similar conclusion.
- Corruption undermines economic growth and poverty reduction.
But even with these two facts, it doesn’t necessarily follow that aid should be cut off from countries with high corruption.
In the face of numerous constraints, there is always a solution!
Photo taken by Mahamadou Djibou, in Niamey, Niger.
Not a day passes without somebody asking me about the impact of the global financial crisis on Africa's poverty reduction efforts. So I thought I would share this interview I recently did for Deutsche Welle radio.
I have also written extensively about what the crisis may mean for Africa on this blog. You can see those entries here.
If recent trends persisted during September, three new developments seem to indicate a deterioration in public finance and economic activities: (i) the Government borrowed on the domestic financial market (about half of its monthly expenditures) for the first time since the beginning of the crisis; (ii) the exchange rate depreciated compared to the Euro and the USD over the past two weeks (down by 6 and 4% respectively); and (iii) international trade continued to decline (exports in volume, down by 62% in August compared to the same period a year ago).