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African Development Report 2003


The African Development Report 2003 reviews Africa’s current socio-economic performance and prospects, and examines in-depth the issue of globalization and development in the continent. Part I of the Report covers two chapters. The first chapter, on “The African Economy in 2002”, presents and assesses the continent’s economic performance as well as prospects for the mediumterm. The second chapter analyses the regional economic profiles, including their recent economic trends, policy developments, privatization, and growth outlook.

Real GDP growth in 2002 was estimated at 2.8 percent, marginally below the 3.5 percent growth rate recorded in 2001. Two powerful factors— the mixed external environment and worsened domestic economic conditions, determined performance in 2002. The momentum of recovery in the industrial countries in the early part of 2002 (engineered in part by the U.S. spending in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks) fizzled out in the later part of the year. The prices of Africa’s major export commodities remained depressed in the year. Also the lingering effects of the September 11 on African economies, especially on the tourism sector in North Africa, affected performance. Although oil prices remained high in 2002, the reduced OPEC quota (designed to shore up prices) reduced the volume and value of exports. Deterioration in economic fundamentals as well as drought in the East and Southern Africa (linked to the El Nino phenomenon) contributed to the dampening of growth.

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