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Economic Development in Africa Report 2010

South-South Cooperation - Africa and the New Forms of Development Partnership

image of Economic Development in Africa Report 2010
The increasing role of large developing countries in global trade, finance, investment and governance, coupled with their rapid economic growth, has stimulated debate on the implications for Africa’s development. The Report examines recent trends in the economic relationships of Africa with other developing countries and the new forms of partnership that are animating those relationships. The report discusses the variety of institutional arrangements that are guiding and encouraging these new economic relationships. It provides up-to-date information on African trade with other developing countries outside Africa, as well as on official financial flows and foreign direct investment into Africa from those countries. It places the new relationships and multiplying partnerships within the context of South–South cooperation. Finally, it assesses important policy issues that arise from the new relationships in each of these areas.

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Africa’s trade with developing countries

International trade has and will continue to play a vital role in the economic development of Africa. It provides employment, contributes to technology transfer and is an important source of foreign exchange needed for imports of intermediate and capital goods used in domestic production. In recent years, African countries have intensified efforts to exploit this potential of trade for growth and poverty reduction. In this regard, it is interesting to note that the strong economic growth performance observed in the region between the second half of the 1990s and the onset of the financial crisis in 2008 was accompanied by a spectacular increase in trade. Africa’s total merchandise trade increased from $217 billion in 1995 to $986 billion in 2008. Its share of global trade also increased from 2.2 per cent in 2000 to 3.3 per cent in 2008. This means that Africa currently has a share of world trade that is higher than its share of world gross domestic product (GDP) (2.5 per cent) but much less than its share of world population (14.6 per cent).

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