The negative impact of the financial crisis on economic growth in Madagascar is expected to be relatively limited; growth is still likely to attain 7% in 2008. Over the medium term, declining demand in industrial countries is expected to affect strategic export oriented sectors such as mining, tourism, textiles and agribusiness. The depth of the banking sector in Madagascar is still very modest with deposits accounting for less than 9 percent of GDP.
Private Sector Development
Uganda has in the past few years showed impressive growth rates despite a number of shocks including prolonged drought, severe energy shortage and the adverse impact of high oil and food prices. Public finances are in good shape with a very favorable debt situation and the financial sector is sound and well-capitalized. Uganda is, therefore, entering the global economic slowdown in a relatively strong position.
When the storm hit, South Africa had been sitting on relatively strong fundamentals and emerging from a protracted period of economic expansion. The meltdown allowed “not-so-well-hidden” vulnerabilities to surface. Unemployment, inequality, poverty, crime, and HIV/AIDS still continue to plague the country. Agriculture, mining and manufacturing declined while the trade and current account deficit (CAD) widened.
The impact of the current global crisis on Angola’s economy can be divided into three parts. First, a marginal impact on the financial sector: no stock exchange, very small inter-banking credit markets, limited transaction flows with international markets (except via Portuguese Bank), low level of banking services, low ratio of loans to deposits, etc. Nonetheless, there was a decline of around 20% in demand deposits in foreign currency in November.
|The forum works through eight working groups that meet regularly to discuss issues such as tax and law, export, and tourism.|
Lorsque l'on parle du secteur de la microfinance au Niger, on entend souvent les termes de restructuration et de réforme, comme si la faible pénétration du crédit dans les zones rurales était forcément due à des institutions financières à restructurer et à réformer.
I gave the Jerome A.Chazen lecture at Columbia Business School the other day. The gist of my talk was that:
The conventional wisdom that African financial systems have little to worry about in the wake of the global financial crisis needs to be challenged. In the attached note, I raise five* concerns:
|The poor need to be empowered, and solutions have to be designed by them. Community organization, a difficult yet key element to successful slum upgrading, is often successfully carried out.|
|A large number of export-oriented processing firms have already closed in Guangdong, the heart of China’s export machine. Image credit: lylevincent at Flickr under a Creative Commons license.|
Entrepreneurs and local officials here are certainly aware that demand for China’s exports has dropped sharply, and they wonder when the global economy will pick up again. Still, at the same time I was impressed at how many see this as an opportunity for China to pursue its rebalancing agenda. These discussions took place at a workshop in Jiangmen on Investment Climate, Innovation, and Industrial Transfer. The phrase “industrial transfer” refers to the fact that the most labor-intensive activities are moving away from the highly successful coastal cities, either to inland China, or other countries (Vietnam, Bangladesh) with lower wages.