Africa: Mozambique was country with greatest growth between 1996 and 2005

16 November 2007

Washington, United States, 16 Nov – Mozambique was the African country to post greatest diversified and sustained economic growth between 1996 and 2005, followed closely by Sao Tome and Principe and Cape Verde, the World Bank said Wednesday.

With average annual growth of 8.3 percent between 1996 and 2005, Mozambique exceeded Rwanda (7.6 percent), Sao Tome (7.1 percent) and, also, Botswana and Uganda, in the list of “diversified” economies, according to the Development Indicators for Africa 2007 report.

The “diversified economies” are one of the groups into which the World Bank divided the countries of the African continent, in the analysis of around 25 years of statistics, and the other two categories are “oil economies” and “low growth economies.”

In the same period, Cape Verde posted average growth of 5.8 percent, making it the sixth fastest growing “diversified” economy.

Guinea Bissau was one of the worst-placed countries in the group that saw least growth, which was led by Zambia (3.8 percent) and Guinea Conakry (3.7 percent).

Guinea Bissau has seen constant slowing of its economic growth, from 3.8 percent in the 1980-89 period, to minus 0.5 percent between 2000 and 2005.

Cape Verde’s economy has also witnessed a slowdown, from 6.3 percent in the 1980s to 4.7 percent in the last five years, a period in which Angola and Mozambique reached their growth “peak” of the last 25 years, respectively to 9.9 percent and 8.4 percent.

The figures published by the World Bank showed that average annual growth in sub-Saharan Africa has continually risen, from 1.8 percent in the 1980s to 2.4 percent in the 1990s and 4.4 percent in the five years up to 2005.

The World Bank said that Africa’s robust economic performance in the 1996-2005 decade is a clear contrast with the 1975-1985 economic collapse and the 1985-1995 stagnation period.

Diversifying and sustaining growth in the future could be achieved in the future via acceleration of productivity and increasing private investment and in order to do that it is necessary to improve the business climate and infrastructures, as well as encourage innovation and create institutional capacities. (macauhub)