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Snapshot
 
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AFRICA: COMPETITIVENESS TRENDS
How Competitive is Africa Today?
While The world clocked an Average GDP growth rate of 4.2% over the last decade, Africa grew at an Astonishing 5.2% pace. In Fact, Africaís Continued Economic Upsurge gets a boost from The Fact that its recovery from The Global crisis has been faster than has been the case in many other parts of The World. B&E analyses The African Competitiveness.
Issue Date - 26/05/2011
 
Lack of diversification

Although the growth of African economies as a whole accelerated in the past decade, their export growth rates continued to lag behind that of other developing regions, thus further widening the gap between Africa and the rest. In fact, Africaís share of global exports plummeted from 4.1% in 1981 to 1.7% in 1998, only rising slightly to 2.4% in 2009 (in 1948 Africaís share of world trade was 7.3%). What perhaps ails the African exports is the lack of diversification, be it in terms of commodities or destinations. While 80% of Africaís export today consists of oil, minerals and agricultural commodities, 70% of the continentís exports is directed towards US and the European Union, thus making African economies more vulnerable to external shocks.

 
Room for Improvement

The twelve distinct pillars of the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) take into account the fact that countries across the globe are at different stages of economic development. In an international context, it is observed that both North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa are outperformed by Southeast Asia, and all the BRIC economies. A birdís-eye view of the global listings in terms of GCI shows that only three countries from the African continent figure in the first half of the overall ranking (Tunisia, 32; South Africa, 54; and Mauritius, 55). It is apparent from the chart that the largest dispersions among the African countries are in terms of macroeconomic environment, health & primary education, and market size pillars.

          

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