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Economic Report on Africa 2002

Tracking Performance and Progress

image of Economic Report on Africa 2002

Africa was the only developing region to accelerate its growth in a turbulent year that saw the synchronized slowdown of all major economies and heightened uncertainty about prospects for the world’s largest economy. Yet Africa’s average annual GDP growth of 4.3% masks sharp disparities. This year’s report builds on the work of the two previous reports in laying out an agenda for Africa based on systematic benchmarking of economic performances. It begins with a discussion of broad economic trends in 2001 and prospects for 2002. It also reveals general improvements in policy. Finally, in a new feature, this report supplements the traditional region-wide analysis with seven in-depth country studies.

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Morocco—Repositioning for Globalization

Morocco is the fifth largest economy in Africa. It is also one of the most weather dependent on the continent. Changes in the weather have been the main determinant of macroeconomic and social trends in the country. Along with the weather, slow adoption of policies for sustained growth and macroeconomic stability constrained economic performance in the mid-1990s. Recognizing the potential benefits of active integration with the world economy, the Moroccan government has shown increased commitment to opening the economy. This renewed commitment is reflected in policies to attract foreign direct investment from beyond the Middle East and North Africa—implementing a transparent privatization programme, removing tariff barriers, reforming financial sector regulations, and strengthening stock exchange operations. To ensure a more equitable distribution of the gains from trade, the government has intensified efforts to improve domestic competition, expand rural infrastructure, and reform griculture.

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