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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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South Africa—Locomotive for African Growth?

South Africa fared better than most developing economies in 2001 despite the global slowdown and the economic woes of other emerging market economies (such as Argentina and Turkey). The relative resilience of its economy was due primarily to sound financial regulation, low external borrowing, and depreciation of the rand (ZAR). Indeed, a significant increase in South Africa’s competitiveness slowed growth in imports and raised exports, contributing to a current account surplus in the first half of 2001. This was mirrored by a small but positive net inflow of capital through the financial account.

English

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