Press Releases

    18 April 2002


    ADDIS ABABA, 16 April (ECA) -- The latest Economic Report on Africa (ERA) 2002, an annual flagship publication of the Economic Commission for Africa that provides a unique perspective on the continent's socio-economic development progress, will be published in May.

    ERA 2002, entitled "Weathering the Global Slowdown", will show that Africa grew faster than any other developing region in 2001, reflecting better macroeconomic management, strong agricultural production, higher oil prices and the cessation of conflicts in several countries.

    These gains, the Report will argue, were made amid the synchronized slowdown of all major economies and the 11 September terrorist attacks on the United States. But Africa's average gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 4.3 per cent in 2001 masks wide disparities, from growth of 65 per cent in Equatorial Guinea to a contraction of 7 per cent in Zimbabwe. The Report will emphasize that economic growth remains fragile, and will confirm that at current rates Africa will not achieve any of the Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations at its Millennium Summit.

    That said, and based on a number of positive recent developments, ERA 2002 will provide a cautiously optimistic prognosis of the medium-term prospects for Africa. These developments include the opportunities created by the United States African Growth and Opportunity Act, the European Union's "Everything but Arms" initiative, the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), and the launches of the Doha Development Round and the African Union. In the medium term, issues of political governance, civil conflicts, and developments in the world economy dominate the downside.

    ERA 2002 will reach these conclusions by supplementing its traditional analysis with seven in-depth country studies spanning the diversity of Africa -- from South Africa to Guinea.

    Precise details on the launching of ERA 2002 will follow shortly.

    Issued by the ECA Communication Team, P.O. Box 3001, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Tel: +251-1-51 58 26; Fax: +251-1-51 03 65; e-mail: Web:

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