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Trade and Development Report 1998

Financial Instability - Growth in Africa

image of Trade and Development Report 1998

A valuable resource for those involved in international business and economic development, the Trade and Development Report 1998 (TDR), issued by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), examines current performance and prospects in the world economy. With the main theme of 'International Financial Instability and the World Economy', this illuminating publication offers a special focus on the East Asian crisis, addressing the global impact of the crisis, its causes and its consequences, especially on developing countries. It discusses how financial instability continues to prevail, underlining the 'systemic' nature of the repeated bouts of financial instability at roughly two-year intervals. The Report also focuses on African development. The analysis brings out the failures of the structural adjustment programs and advocates, among others drastic steps, lifting the external debt burden and giving African countries leeway in terms of the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. TDR98 reveals that the prospects for the years ahead are extremely uncertain and puts forward recommendations on how future crises might be prevented.

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Policy challenges and institutional reform

Any long-run improvement in living standards in Africa can be achieved only through a sustained rise in productivity. Increasing investment is a prerequisite, if not a guarantee, of rapid productivity growth, because the latter requires the use of more productive technologies and higher skill levels, which are usually embodied in, or closely related to, new plant and equipment. Furthermore, strong complementarities between public investment and private investment mean that these should rise together if the fast and continuous pace of economic growth which has so far eluded the majority of countries in SSA is to be achieved.

English

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