A new report tells how Africa can
better compete economically in the world. It's been released at the World
Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town, South Africa.
Africa Competitiveness Report 2009 is a joint effort by the World Economic
Forum and the African Development Bank.
forum's Jennifer Blanke, co-author of the report, spoke to VOA from Cape Town
about Africa's standing on the world economic stage.
finding that overall African countries tend to be less competitive than many
other regions. When you talk about competitiveness, you're talking about the
productivity of nations for the capacity to produce goods and services, provide
employment and so on," she says.
there are a few of what she calls "shining lights" in Africa, countries that
are "quite competitive by international standards." These include South Africa,
Botswana and Mauritius.
Two short-term, three
terms of the two short-term issues.… To enhance access to finance…resisting
calls for rising protectionism, so not raising trade barriers," she says.
the long-term, she says, "We're looking at the importance of improving
infrastructure, particularly transport or energy…improving health and education
systems…and finally…improving governance and institutions and creating more
business friendly environments in Africa."
Good governance vital for growth
it's the institutional or the governance environment that sets the rules of the
game, allows for a level playing field and ensures all of the actors understand
and have faith in the market… This is the key issue underlying everything
else," she says.
recommendations are easier to implement than others.
"For example, resisting protection
pressures, that's a question of political will. Really, it's just a question of
policy. Looking at things like infrastructure, this is something that requires
big investments that will have to be developed over time," she says.