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Economic Report on Africa 2004

Unlocking Africa’s Trade Potential

image of Economic Report on Africa 2004

The Economic Report on Africa is an annual series that reviews the continent’s economic performance and near-term prospects. This year’s report’s main conclusion is that trade liberalization alone will not boost growth and poverty reduction in Africa. In 2003, Africa was the second fastest growing developing region, yet, only 5 countries achieved the 7% or higher growth rate required to reach the Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty by 2015. FDIs inflows continued to increase but still remain largely concentrated in the natural resources sector. Although the regional outlook for 2004 is positive, with growth projected to accelerate, there are still several downside risks to be faced.

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Measuring Africa’s trade competitiveness

Despite the uncertainties surrounding the future of the multilateral system of trade negotiations, it was concluded in the previous chapter that African nations still have the opportunity to develop trade policies that are both dynamic and adaptable to evolving circumstances. The chapter examined how countries’ trade policies can have direct effects on the economic welfare of their populations, on government revenues and on the prevailing investment climate, and it argued that African countries should maintain a clear focus on enhancing their trade potential.

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