World Bank advises Angola to focus on private sector

26 February 2007

Luanda, Angola, 26 Feb – Angola should focus on its private sector as this is one of the bases for the country’s future social and economic development, the World Bank’s senior economist for the Africa Region, Jorge Saba Arbache said Friday in Luanda.

Arbache made the statement during the launch of a report on Africa Development Indicators for 2006. The document, which assesses some 450 macro economic, sector and social indicators for 53 African countries, shows a continent with several countries posting notable progress, others stagnating and some which are seriously delayed in their development.

Arbache said that in order for Angola to grow, create more jobs, increase production and sell its own products, its had to think about inter-regional trade and develop the private sector.

The report said that several African countries had managed to improve their quality of life, by significant percentages, thus reducing the levels of poverty of their populations.

The document also confirmed that the fact that 16 countries had maintained the growth rate of their gross domestic product (GDP) at over 4.5 percent since the 1990s. Inflation on the continent also fell to a historic low and most exchange rate distortions were eliminated, at the same time as fiscal deficits were falling.

The report also said that the continent received just 1.6 percent of the world’s foreign direct investment (FDI) (US$10.1 billion) and is home to six of the ten countries considered to have the worst business climate in the world.

Despite the progress made, the report highlights several challenges faced by Africa, which is the only region in the world where the number of poor is increasing. (macauhub)