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African Development Report 2005


The African Development Report, prepared annually by the staff of the Development Research Department of the Bank, provides an in-depth review of recent macroeconomic performance and structural issues in Africa, viewed from continental, regional and national perspectives. It also assesses the prospects of the African economy in the context of recent global developments. In addition, it provides an in-depth analysis of a topical issue that is critical to Africa’s development -- with this year’s focus being on Public Sector Management in Africa.

With respect to Africa’s economic performance in 2004, the Report notes that it improved markedly. The region’s GDP growth rate reached an average of 5.1 percent from 4.4 percent in 2003, resulting in a per capita GDP growth of 2.8 percent. This is the highest GDP growth rate recorded for the continent since 1996, and considerably above the average of 3.7 percent for the previous five years. It is also noteworthy that this is the first time in over two decades that the continent has recorded growth rates exceeding 4 percent per annum for two consecutive years. As was the case in the past, growth in 2004 exhibited a considerable variation across individual countries, although the trend, overall, was quite positive. Some 20 countries achieved GDP growth rates exceeding 5 percent and 14 others recorded growth rates of between 3 and 5 percent. Only three countries witnessed negative growth rates, compared with six in the preceding year.

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