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29.11.2007 Business & Finance

Africa Grows Slowly

By Daily Guide

Latest World Bank report on Africa's Development Indicator for 2007 shows that though Africa is growing, the growth is slow.

The report, presented by Jorge Arbache, Senior Economist of the bank indicated that growth was slow and volatile in Ghana like in other developing countries though it had experienced growth acceleration in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 1993 to 2005.

Mr. Arbache attributed the spike in growth in some African countries like Angola and Nigeria, which are oil-producing countries, to the boom in those commodities although 18 non-mineral economies with more than a third of African people were also doing well.

Under the theme: “Spreading and Sustaining Growth In Africa”, the report formed part of the Development Dialogue Series of the World Bank and identified stronger and more diverse export growth as a key factor needed to sustain growth and reduce volatility.

It suggested an increase in investments and productivity as well as improvements in institutions to take the African renaissance to the next level.

Meanwhile, speakers at the launch of the Africa Development Indicator for 2007 have called on the World Bank to consult Africa's statisticians and policy makers in their analysis so that they would know where the continent fell short.

According to them, this would enable the bank make the necessary corrections to bring improvements in their economies.

Dr. Joe Abbey, Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Analysis and Dr. Grace Bediako, Government Statistician noted that the absence of data gaps such as the sources of statistics and deficiencies rendered the report hazy, making it difficult to domesticate it to the advantage of Ghana's peculiar circumstances.

They said the World Bank must encourage African countries to do the jobs themselves rather than doing it for them, since the real jobs started from within the African countries.

The two statisticians said the World Bank Report must help the continent to learn from its mistakes, and that one way to do this was to train professionals into fields that would be employable on the continent rather than African countries losing them to the West.

By Charles Nixon Yeboah