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
2014 has been crucial to creating momentum for a climate change agenda. More than half a million people took to the streets for unified climate action at the New York People’s Climate March, while policy-makers concurrently discussed the challenge of a changing climate at the United Nations Climate Summit.
Despite positive economic growth rates experienced by almost all West African economies since 2005, they have not undergone the structural transformation needed to improve the quality of life of their people, as they are lacking diversification and depend on the exports of a few products.
The Ebola outbreak, which is ravaging West Africa, causing over 4,000 deaths, and has crossed the Atlantic infecting its first case in the United States and now Spain, is an immense tragedy. But it also serves as a reminder of the fundamental challenges of development in a weak institutional environment.
Laré Ousmane is from Dapaong in northern Togo. In 2002, at the age of 26, he decides to immigrate to Florida, USA, with only an accounting technician diploma and a driver’s license. After two years, he lands his first real job: as delivery driver at a restaurant, for a net monthly salary of $1,950.
Last week I was asked to make a presentation on West Africa to a number of senior executives of large multinational companies, keen in investing in our region. In spite of the panic displayed by some media outlets and the occasional cancellation of conferences and football matches due to take place in the region because of Ebola, they came to Abidjan, at the heart of one of the continental success stories, to explore business opportunities.
- KPMG Africa Blog
- UN Women, West and Central Africa
- The Trade Post | Making international trade work for development
- Institute for Security Studies: West Africa
- Oxfam: West Africa blog
- CGD Policy Blogs | Center For Global Development
- NEPAD blogs | NEPAD
- blogAfrica | allAfrica
- Baobab | The Economist
- United Nations Office for West Africa
- Nasikiliza | World Bank in Africa