When asked about the East Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi reportedly said, “I wish we had their problems.” I was reminded of this quip when thinking about the current financial crisis in the U.S. and its possible impact on Africa. In the U.S., there is a constant fear that turmoil in financial markets will spill over to the real sector—in terms of slow growth and unemployment.
My colleagues and I are trying to think through the implications for Africa of the recent turmoil in global financial markets. Here are four propositions.
Launched in 2000 in the Millennium Declaration, the Millennium Development Goals were a global compact to reduce poverty. As world leaders meet at the United Nations this week to take stock of progress, Paul Collier’s Op-Ed in yesterday’s New York Times and a paper by a team led by Franç
The Millennium Development Goal of reducing child mortality rates by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015 is proving to be one of the most difficult for African countries to reach. A recent book published b
Your first reaction to the title of this post may be: “Just when, for the first time in thirty years, Africa’s per capita GDP is growing (see Graph below) at the same rate as all developing countries, why are you asking whether Africa is growing too fast?” The reason is that we would like to know whether this growth is sustainable. Two colleagues at a recent conference on this topic offered some sobering thoughts.
In the past, policy advice on promoting trade in Africa may have overstressed the need for African countries to bring down their own trade barriers, such as import tariffs, and insufficiently emphasized the need to improve trade logistics, infrastructure, business competition, and regulation.