The 2019 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank Group will be held from 11-14 June 2019, in Malabo, Republic of Equatorial Guinea. Find out more
Measuring the pulse of Economic Transformation in West Africa
West Africa is at the heart of Africa’s transformation. With a projected growth rate of 7.4 per cent in 2014, it is the fastest growing region in the continent. As many of its countries undergo a strong stabilization, emerge from conflict, or even rise to middle income status, the region begins to reap the fruits of its regional and global integration. A global demand for expert opinions and analysis is rising rapidly. Read More
In previous blog posts, I wrote about the revenues that are likely to materialise from new projects coming online in West Africa; the macroeconomic choices to ensure that these revenues do not have negative macroeconomic impacts and are enjoyed by future generations; and how those revenues can help to bridge the funding gap in health and education.
My previous posts discussed how much revenues West African countries can expect from new discoveries of extractive resources, and what are the choices facing policymakers in utilising these revenues. In this piece, I will try to focus on how these revenues can be used specifically for investments in health, education skills and other tangible development outcomes. What can really been achieved, and how?
My previous blog gave a sense of the estimated likely magnitude and timing for revenues from new natural resources in Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Figures suggest that over the next 30 years, these new revenues would provide some extra room for spending to governments: over 20% on top of existing revenues in Liberia and Sierra Leone, and around 15% extra for Ghana.
Extractive resources come with a heavy baggage and very high expectations – if history shows that abundance of natural resources does not necessarily improve a country’s citizens lives, announcements of new mineral riches often unleashes expectations of immediate gains for citizens. This is very much the dynamics triggered when, at the peak of the commodity prices cycle, new discoveries in a number of West African countries promised to deliver a game-changing boost to their economies.
Guinea-Bissau is one of Africa’s richest countries when it comes to natural resource endowment. Beyond having great biodiversity, its soil is fertile and hosts a multitude of minerals. Also, in addition to known and visible timber and fishing resources, it has been known for the past 40 years that there are significant deposits of bauxite, phosphates and heavy sand in the country.