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African Economic Outlook 2003

image of African Economic Outlook 2003

The African Economic Outlook is a joint project between the African Development Bank and the OECD Development Centre.  The project, initially funded by the EU, combines the expertise accumulated by the OECD and the knowledge of the African Development Bank on African economies. The objective is to review annually the recent economic situation and the short-term likely evolutions of selected African countries.  The Outlook is drawn from a country-by-country analysis based on a unique analytical design.  This common framework includes a forecasting exercise for the current and the following year using a simple macroeconomic model, together with an analysis of the social and political context.  It also contains a comparative synthesis of African country prospects.  A statistical appendix completes the volume.  Decision-makers and economists in African and OECD countries, both in the public and private sectors, aid agencies and investors will all find this volume of significant interest.

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Gabon

OECD Development Centre

With an annual per capita income of more than $3 700 in 2001 and a purchasing power parity (PPP) of $6 200 in 2000, Gabon is one of Africa’s richest countries. However, it went through a serious economic crisis in 1999 and only slightly recovered from this in 2000 and 2001, thanks to the strength of the non-oil sector and a less-than-expected drop in oil production. The economy still suffers from erratic public expenditure, dependence on diminishing oil output and negligible diversification. In the medium term, declining oil revenue threatens government resources, the country’s investment capacity and the stability of the banking sector. As a result, the expected 1 per cent GDP growth in 2002 may fall to –2.1 per cent in 2003. The end of the oil bonanza is especially serious because Gabon has poor social indicators, despite its high per capita income, and a heavy external debt for which it cannot claim relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative...

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