Africa and its growth
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A lot of international attention has been given to Africa in the last few years. Despite its recent success in terms of economic growth, reduced conflicts, economic liberalization and progress in governance, the people in this continent have been suffering due to 'poverty'.
The year 2005 was called the 'Year of Africa' (African Economic Outlook, 2006). The growth of a nation can be defined as a sustained increase of the production of the country over a long period, usually measured in GDP and GNP. Many African governments have taken promising steps towards restructuring their economies. Democracy has taken root, thereby increasing people's participation in public policies. Substantial progress has been achieved with respect to regional cooperation, with the support of the New Partnership for Africa's development (NEPAD) and the European Union. The international community has also been working towards giving Africa a big 'boost'. The statistics of recent years have shown a 5% increase in the economic activity in Africa.
Many African countries experienced an improvement in growth rate in 2005. This was due to the availability of increased aid and debt pardons. Many reforms that were implemented have begun bearing fruit. The oil producing countries of Africa enjoyed the price surge, which comforted their growth for four years. However, the growth of these countries, in comparison to the other African nations, was small.
Several African countries still face several challenges, like the catastrophe in Darfur, Sudan, the instability in some regions such as the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, etc. The oil-rich delta in the Niger also faces problems of security. The global system reflects a marked success, yet, a billion people in this continent are perennially in a survival situation.
If this is the situation in Africa, how can it claim its place in the global economy? To answer this question, this document will study the current situation in Africa through economic growth indicators and the constraints it faces. Then, it will analyze the impact of various initiatives taken by international institutions and African leaders for the continent's progress.
The growth of an economy can be defined as a sustainable increase in its size, accompanied by changes in structure and leading to economic progress. Countries that are ranked according to their economic level is a delicate matter because the usual aggregates of national accounts, designed for developed countries are found inadequate to account for the underdeveloped countries.
There are indeed disparities between the economies of the world but there are also structural differences. Other indicators should be used to inform about the living conditions of populations. To differentiate these two categories indicators is used to distinguish two notions that are not identical: the growth and development.
The rate of average annual economic growth in the developing world as a whole is 4.8% since 2000, more than double the rate for the high-income economies, which averaged 2.0 annual %. Although these strong results are largely due to the rapid expansion observed in East Asia and South Asia, the report titled World Development Indicators 2006 which was published shows that, based on development indicators in the world, the Sub-Saharan Africa, which long lagged behind other regions, recorded in 2004, a growth rate of 4.8% against a global growth rate of 4.1% that year.
This pace of growth continued in 2005 and was seen to continue in 2006.
Tags: Africa; pace of economic growth; economic growth indicators; initiatives taken by African leaders; institutions