Economic Transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa The Way Forward
Sub-Saharan Africa is vastly diverse, and the 49 countries of the region range significantly in terms of population, size and economic scale. The region also differs in topography, climate, history, culture, languages and political systems. Given this vast diversity, it is, accordingly, difficult to draw general conclusions about the continent’s economic performance as a whole. Additionally, the lack of current statistics for several countries makes it difficult to make accurate assessments of economic conditions. Nevertheless, some broad comparisons can be made: of the world’s developing areas, sub-Saharan Africa has the worst record in virtually all of the most important social and economic indicators: the region has the lowest gross national income per head, the lowest life expectancy at birth, the lowest youth literacy rate, the highest rate of adult HIV infection and the highest number of children not living past five years of age.
This volume begins by examining recent economic developments and trends. It then looks at the major economic constraints the region has faced in recent years, breaking down those constraints as either ‘external’ (e.g. terms of trade) over which the individual countries have but limited control, or ‘internal’ (e.g. governance and economic policy), over which there is more control. The book concludes by arguing that, despite the notable challenges cited above, sub-Saharan Africa is poised for a transformation, based on closer regional economic co-operation, a growing middle class, increased demand for locally produced goods and services, and a young population.
About the Author
Foreword by Dr Nicholas Westcott
1 Introduction and Recent Economic Developments
2 External Trends
Trade, Regional Co-operation and South-South Linkages
Aid, Foreign Debt and Investment
3 Internal Trends
Governance, Parastatal Organizations, the Business Environment and
the Informal Sector
Health, Population and Education
The Natural Environment and Climate Change
. Physical Infrastructure, the Structure of the Economies and Employment
Agriculture, Food Security and the Urban Bias
4 The Way Forward: A Transformation?
Appendix: Countries of Africa South of the Sahara, Current GDP and Population