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Céline Allard, Mr. Jorge I Canales Kriljenko, Mr. Jesus R Gonzalez-Garcia, Emmanouil Kitsios, Mr. Juan P Trevino, and Ms. Wenjie Chen
This analysis of the extent of trade integration of sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries in the global economy as well as within the region over the 1995–2013 period focuses on four key concepts: (1) trade openness, captured by import and export flows; (2) the centrality in the global and regional trade network, a measure that takes into account not only the size of trade but also the number of trade partners and the respective weight of these trade partners in global trade; (3) gravity model estimates that account for country- and region-specific determinants of bilateral trade flows; and (4) global value chain (GVC) integration. Using both existing data and a newly available dataset based on multiregion input and output tables, this analysis led to several findings: (1) trade openness has increased strongly; (2) integration in the global economy has made the region more vulnerable to external shocks; (3) levels of trade flows emanating from sub-Saharan Africa are still only half the magnitude of those experienced elsewhere in the world; (4) the region still has ways to go to better integrate in GVCs; and (5) it is more critical than ever to make progress in filling the infrastructure gap by lowering tariff and nontariff barriers, improving the business climate and access to credit, and continuing to enhance education outcomes.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

La chute des cours du pétrole et d'autres produits de base a nui à l'Afrique subsaharienne. La région devrait toutefois connaître une année supplémentaire de bons résultats économiques. La croissance devrait toutefois rester atone en Afrique du Sud, tandis qu'en Guinée, au Libéria et en Sierra Leone, l'épidémie d'Ebola continue d'avoir de lourdes conséquences économiques et sociales. Ce rapport examine également le profit que l'Afrique subsaharienne pourrait tirer du dividende démographique causé par une hausse sans précédent de la population en âge de travailler et étudie le niveau d'intégration de la région dans les chaînes de valeur mondiales.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

The sharp decline in oil and other commodity prices have adversely impacted sub-Saharan Africa. Nevertheless, the region is projected to register another year of solid economic performance. In South Africa, however, growth is expected to remain lackluster, while in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone the Ebola outbreak continues to exact a heavy economic and social toll. This report also considers how sub-Saharan Africa can harness the demographic dividend from an unprecedented increase in the working age population, as well as the strength of the region's integration into global value chains.

Mr. Mohsin S. Khan, Mr. Stanley Fischer, and Mr. Ernesto Hernández-Catá
This paper examines the experience of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to answer the question of whether the region is at a turning point in its economic fortunes. The improvement in growth reflects in part a rise in the utilization of existing capacity. To be sustained, however, a high rate of growth will require an increase in investment rates and/or an increase in total factor productivity—i.e., an improvement in the technological, political, administrative and economic factors that raise the rate of return on both capital and labor. The close link between investment and growth in developing countries over the long term is evident in the empirical growth literature. For developing countries in general, the elasticity of growth with respect to the investment/GDP ratio has been found to lie within the range of 0.3–0.5. Although increasing investment is crucial, action is also needed in many complementary areas in order to raise productivity and growth.