Portuguese-speaking African countries return to economic growth

25 May 2010

Abidjan, Ivory Coast, 25 May – Portuguese-speaking African countries have resisted the international crisis, even the most fragile of them, such as Guinea Bissau and Sao Tome and Principe, but all of them require “urgent reforms” to boost their economies, according to a document published Monday in Abidjan, the Ivory Coast.

The diagnosis was made in Abidjan, capital of the Ivory Coast, by the African Development Bank (ADB) organisations, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, in its annual report on “Economic prospects for Africa.”

The projection for 2010 is a return to economic growth for Africa’s Portuguese-speaking countries, with all of them seeing higher growth than was posted in 2009: Angola, 7.4 percent; Cape Verde, 5.1 percent; Guinea Bissau, 3.4 percent; Mozambique, 5.1 percent and Sao Tome and Principe, 4.6 percent.

According to these figures, all of the Portuguese-speaking African countries, except for Guinea Bissau, are expected to post above average growth for Africa, which is estimated at 4.5 percent.

The problem is that even good “students” such as Mozambique which every year has been praised by the organisations, require reforms, according to the document.

Recommendations for Mozambique include making labour and land use laws more flexible, whilst Guinea Bissau and Sao Tome and Principe should strive for stability and improved political efforts, cape Verde should invest in infrastructure and the suggestion for Angola is that the central government should reduce its political control.

Mozambique, Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde share the problems of dependence on foreign aid, high levels of poverty are seen in all the countries except Cape Verde, and all five countries share the prevalence of corruption, low schooling, poor training and insufficient tax collection.

Overall Africa is expected to see a return to GDP growth of 4.5 percent, but the period of serious international crisis will make it difficult for African countries to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals for the next five years. (macauhub)