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."
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).
Something is not quite right with this picture.
There has been somewhat of a celebration lately in the South African press and markets, sparked by news that the external trade balance was moving into positive territory following several months of trade deficit.
The fact that three consecutive months of trade surplus (May-July 2009) were recorded for the first time in 6 years has made it even more special. Market analysts have exulted that “South Africa's economy was likely to recover as the balance of trade improved," [which] "underscores our bullish outlook for the current account deficit." The positive mood further whetted the appetite of foreign investors, who have poured more than $7 billion into the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 2009 thus far, bolstering the Rand to a one-year high against the US Dollar by end-August.
Ces dernières années, de nombreux pays africains ont commencé à faire preuve d’un dynamisme remarquable.
Le taux de croissance enregistré au Mozambique est fulgurant, affichant une moyenne annuelle de 8 % sur plus de dix ans. Le Kenya est devenu l'un des plus importants fournisseurs mondiaux de fleurs coupées. Le service M-Pesa, qui permet d’effectuer des transferts d’argent à partir d’un téléphone mobile, rencontre un succès grandissant tandis que le programme KickStart aide les petits agriculteurs à irriguer leurs cultures à moindre coût. Le tourisme rwandais fleurit depuis qu’il s’est axé sur la vie des gorilles et dans la ville de Lagos au Nigéria, les nouvelles infrastructures du BRT (réseau de transport rapide par bus) facilite un développement urbain plus efficace. En deux mots, l’Afrique est en train de vivre une réelle transformation.
- Urban Development
- Labor and Social Protection
- Social Development
- Science and Technology Development
- Public Sector and Governance
- Private Sector Development
- Macroeconomics and Economic Growth
- Law and Regulation
- Information and Communication Technologies
- Financial Sector
Based on the impact of reforms implemented between June 2008 and May 2009, Rwanda has been named "world's top reformer" in this year's Doing Business report. This is the first time an African country has received the title. It now takes a Rwandese entrepreneur just two procedures and three days to start a business. Transferring property takes less time, thanks to a reorganized registry and statutory time limits. Investors have more protection, insolvency reorganization has been streamlined, and a wider range of assets can be used as collateral to access credit.
In recent months, the external sector in South Africa has strengthened in ways that are somewhat perplexing. The strengthening has partly to do with weak import demand due to the economic slowdown. But the surprising aspect has been sustained inflows of foreign portfolio investment in South African domestic securities. Just as the news on the real sector and fiscal balances has gotten worse, somewhat paradoxically foreign investors’ appetite for South African securities has grown.
President Obama on February 17 signed the $787 billion Stimulus package into law. The package is aimed at stimulating production in the US as well as job creation. However, it includes the following clause:
En Afrique, l’administration des douanes joue un rôle de tout premier plan dans le développement économique et social puisque les droits et taxes collectées par les douanes représentent bien souvent au moins 30% des recettes du budget national (hors pays pétroliers). Dans le même temps, c’est l’une des administrations les plus décriées étant bien souvent décrites comme le symbole même de la corruption et un terrible frein au commerce.
The steep decline in the prices of commodities (oil, minerals, metals) following the global financial crisis is clearly having an effect on African countries. But the effect is asymmetric between importers and exporters of commodities. For instance, oil importers, who suffered in 2008 from the sharp increase in oil prices (reaching $140 a barrel), will benefit from the decline in oil prices, whereas the reverse is true for oil exporters. Using the latest commodity forecasts available, my colleague