AfDB Organizes Seminars to Present Comparative Outputs, Incomes and Price Levels in African Countries

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Tunis, August 11, 2008 – The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group will, from August 12, 2008, in Niamey, Niger, hold a series of seminars to present comparative outputs, incomes and price levels in African countries within the framework of the International Comparison Program for Africa survey conducted from 2004-2007 in 48 African countries.

The new data show that Africa produced goods and services worth about US$1.8 trillion in 2005, accounting for 3.34% of the world’s output.  The data also shows that three countries - South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria - account for over half of the continent’s GDP. 

On the other hand, some thirty-three African countries individually account for less than 1 percent of the region’s output and collectively account for less than 15 percent of the region’s total GDP.

Overall, the 2005 benchmark results show that the size of the African economy measured in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) terms is smaller by about 10% than previous estimates.

The results also show adjustments of GDP estimates for six of the continent’s largest countries, with the biggest reductions recorded for Ethiopia (-45 percent), Morocco (-23 percent), and South Africa (-24 percent). Five of the ten largest countries show significant increases, ranging from 60 percent for Nigeria, 32 percent for Tanzania, 48 percent for Angola, 13 percent for Kenya, and 10 percent for Egypt.

"It is extremely important for these data to be presented and discussed with participants attending this seminar. We will be discussing them with government authorities, development partners, the civil society and research institutions during seminars which will be held in various African countries," Abdoulaye Adam, the AfDB’s Chief Statistician, said.

The results show that the continent’s economy is dominated by seven countries - South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia and Angola - which account for 60% of the continent’s GDP. The results also show that the three largest economies, South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria, account for nearly half of Africa’s output. The survey results have made it possible to classify African countries according to real per capita GDP with the five richest countries being Gabon (US$ 12,742), Botswana (US$ 12,057), Equatorial Guinea (US$ 11,999), Mauritius (US$ 10,155) and South Africa (US$ 8,477). At the other end of the scale are Guinea Bissau, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Liberia and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Regarding investments, data collected show that South Africa accounts for 22.9% of the region’s investment expenditure, followed by Egypt with 14.5%, Morocco 10.3% and Nigeria 8.6%. South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria, the continent’s three largest economies, together account for almost half of the continent’s investment.

Besides Algeria, Eritrea, Libya, Seychelles and Somalia, all other African countries participated in the International Comparison Program for Africa which was totally coordinated, for the first time, by the AfDB. This positive step demonstrates the Bank Group’s determination to position itself as a knowledge centre on Africa; a position designed to improve the effectiveness of its interventions in its regional member countries. The Bank Group also looks to sharing this knowledge with other development partners as part of a greater research synergy. The various seminars on comparative outputs, incomes and price levels in African countries are expected to strengthen the orientation of the institution’s senior management.