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AGI Newsletter, October 2012

The October Issue of the AGI Newsletter is available through the link : http://www.iag-agi.org/IMG/pdf/AGI-Newsletter-32.pdf

“Africa can have a brighter future, and has the potential to become the next emerging market by the end of this decade… Also, the continent’s long-term growth prospects are strong, propelled by both external trends in the global economy and internal changes in the continent’s societies and economies.”
These were the messages shared by the African Development Bank on Friday, November 2, at the closing day of the seventh African Economic Conference in Kigali, Rwanda.

On behalf of the Bank, one of the conference organizers, Mthuli Ncube, AfDB Vice President and Chief Economist, touched on a variety of issues, providing a broad overview of the key presentations during the conference. He affirmed that Africa has some of the most abundant natural resources in the world, many of which are yet to be tapped. These include not just minerals and oil, but also bountiful possibilities for clean energy. He observed that Africa is the world’s youngest continent, and if it invests in education and training to develop the potential of its youth, could become one of the most dynamic and productive of economies.

Asked on how the continent can reach inclusive and sustainable development goals, with lack of democracy in some countries, Prof. Ncube mentioned political events which led to revolutions and stirrings of discontent across a number of countries. “Africa cannot develop without democracy, which is a prerequisite to improve governance and manage the ethnic tensions that impede and frustrate African development efforts. As a matter of fact, electoral democracy is becoming institu-tionalized in several African countries, acting as a powerful force for economic growth and development, he noted, adding that there is a two-way relationship between democracy and development.

The Chief Economist referred to Botswana and Mauritius as “the only” two African countries that have been continuously peaceful and democratic since independence, and that have achieved relatively good development performance in the past three decades. “African countries that democratized during the 1990s have made some development progress, while lingering semi-democracies and autocracies performed much more poorly as a group and have continued to slide backwards,” he said.
Sustaining peace, democracy, political stability, commitment to reform, and policies liberalizing trade and markets can magnify the impact of the forces already reshaping the continent’s economic, political and social terrain.
The purpose of this issue of the Newsletter is to take stock of these developments, and future prospects. You will find the main chapters of the Africa Economic Report 2012 published under the direction of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the Commission of the African Union :

  • Developments in the world economy and implications for Africa.
  • Economic and Social Developments in Africa and Prospects for 2012.
  • Africa as a pole of Global Growth.
  • Unleashing Africa’s Development Capacity.
  • Mobilizing Resources for structural transformation.

Happy Reading


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