Sunday, November 12, 2006

World Bank Looks to Africa and Predicts Future Economic Growth

Sources: World Bank Highlights African Challenges
World Bank to Support Uganda in Investment Reforms

The World Bank identified four factors on which sub-Saharan Africa should focus in order to achieve economic growth: (1) infrastructure investment; (2) improving the investment climate; (3) harnessing skills for innovation; and (4) building institutional capacity. Focusing on these four areas will “help the region and Africa as a whole make up for missing two decades of global growth and to replicate the growth models that have lifted millions of people out of poverty.”

Gobind, Nankani, World Bank’s vice-president for the African region, projects that Africa is “on the cusp of breaking out of the long economic stagnation of the 1970s and 1980s.” World Bank’s recent report on Africa projects “the continent is capable of regaining the pace of robust growth it experienced between 1960 and 1973.” In order to reach this goal of economic growth, Africa must create the right conditions to benefit from help offered throughout the global economic community. The continent can do this by lowering indirect costs that impede upon exports and investing in skills and support innovation to spur productivity and competitiveness. Benno Ndulu, adviser to Nankani, emphasized that Africa must focus on good governance and bureaucratic efficiency, innovation and technological progress in raising productivity and competitiveness, as well as infrastructure, especially in transportation and energy.

In related news, the World Bank has pledged to support Uganda in its efforts to improve its investment climate and reduce the cost of doing business in the African country. World Bank managing director Juan Jos Daboub and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni met and discussed the country’s strategy for addressing the its power crisis and energy supply. World Bank shares the government’s view that increasing power generation is the priority and is helping finance the dam in Bujagali designed to produce 200 MW of power.


1. Of the four factors the World Bank reports will foster economic growth in Africa, which is the most urgent factor on which the continent should focus.

2. Uganda is focusing on the first factor—infrastructure investment—in order to generate power throughout its country. What other factor must be the priority of the nation if it is to enjoy economic growth?

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