LATEST ECONOMIC REPORT ON AFRICA
ADDIS ABABA, 12 July (ECA) -- The latest Economic Report on Africa (ERA 2002), the annual flagship publication of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) that provides a unique perspective on the continent’s socio-economic development progress, will be officially released on 16 July.
ERA 2002, entitled "Tracking Performance and Progress", will show that Africa grew faster than any other developing region in 2001, reflecting better macroeconomic management, strong agricultural production, 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 7.5 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 Africa’s Development (NEPAD), and the launches of the Doha Development Round and the Africa 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.
Advance media materials in English will be available shortly at www.uneca.org/era2002/kit. The Media Kit also includes names and contact details of ECA spokespersons for ERA 2002, who can be contacted directly for quotable interviews. The full report will be available from the ECA Web site on 16 July 2002.
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