Short Overview of African Countries

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The statistical data may vary depending on source due to the insufficent automatization of statistical institutions of the region. That’s why World Bank approved a grant to transfer systems to six Southern African countries (Mozambique, Botswana, South Africa, Lesotho, Tanzania, and Zambia) to strengthen their statistical reporting capabilities. "The quality of development data depends on the source. Our goal is to empower statistical offices in Africa, and help them to move from hand-written National Account tables to a modern system that is easy to adopt, maintain, and capable of delivering quality data," says Ziad Badr, the team leader of African Development Indicators 2001, and a senior World Bank economist in its Africa region. "This will bring statistical institutions in Africa into the new millennium, and provide a reliable system to measure development progress and identify remaining challenges."

In summary, macro balances, or getting the prices right, is not economic reform just as casting a ballot is not democracy. The hallmarks of a capable state are strong institutions of governance; a sharp focus on the needs of the poor; powerful watchdogs; the rule of law; intolerance of corruption; transparency and accountability in the management of public affairs; respect for human rights; participation by all citizens in the decisions that affect their lives; as well as the creation of an enabling environment for the private sector and civil society.

4. Economic organizations in Africa

The main economic power of Africa south of the Sahara Desert is South African Republic. Through its well developed infrastructure and deepwater ports, South Africa handles much of the trade for the whole southern African region. In 1970 its immediate neighbours, Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho, and latterly Namibia, signed the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) enabling them to share in the customs revenue from their trade passing through South African ports. In order to counter the economic dominance of South Africa in the southern African region, the countries to the north of it organised themselves into the Southern African Development Conference (SADC). Member states include those of the SACU as well as Angola, situated north of Namibia, and it's oil-rich enclave of Cabinda, and Mozambique on the east coast, and the countries of south-central Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi. Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania signed Treaty for Enhanced East African Co-operation in order to allow free flow of goods and people. The small landlocked central African countries of Rwanda and Burundi form part of an economic union of countries in the central African region. Other members of the Economic Community of Central African States are Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, the oil-rich Congo and Gabon and the vast country of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is a solid geographical bloc of 15 states from Nigeria in the east to Mauritania in the west. The countries of Mauritania, Mali and Niger are located in the southern stretch of the Sahara Desert while the remaining countries are splayed out along the coast line. As a result of their respective colonial histories, these countries are divided into French and English-speaking states. The francophone countries include the republics of Benin, Burkina Faso, Togo, the Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire), Guinea and Senegal while the remaining states of Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and the Gambia have English as their official language. The Republic of Guinea Bissau is a Portuguese-speaking state to the south of Senegal.

5. Problems and ways to solve them

The biggest challenge to doing business in Africa is the lack of quality information about Africa. Some of the other challenges of Africa are:

· fluctuating currencies

· bureaucratic red tape, which is slowly getting easier to wade through

· graft and corruption

· nepotism

· wars and unrest, though the changes in South Africa are starting to create a ripple of peace and democracy throughout the region

· lack of local capital

· monopolies such as marketing boards, state trading firms, foreign exchange restrictions, trade taxes and quotas and concentration on limited commodities all place a disincentive on exports, thus delinking Africa from the world economy.

· lack of infrastructure, though in areas such as telecommunications and energy, Africa is able to use new technologies to leapfrog more advanced economies

However, none of these challenges is insurmountable; in fact, some entrepreneurs would contend that African risk is lower than that even of North America.

There is hardly could be a person, who is able to resolve all the problems considering the challenges in the list. But there are a number of tasks to be completed in order to improve the quality of life and gain stable economic growth.

Реферат опубликован: 5/02/2007