African Economic Outlook 2010

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Since 2002, the annual African Economic Outlook has been charting the progress of the continent’s economies. Africa was propelled by seven years of strong growth from 2002 to 2008, only to be stopped in its tracks by the world’s deepest and most widespread recession in half a century. This edition finds the continent struggling to get back on its feet and identify new, more crisis-resilient practices for moving forward. In this context, decision makers in African and OECD countries, both in the public and private sectors, will find this year's analysis of particular interest for their activities.

Jointly published by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the OECD Development Centre and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African Economic Outlook project is generously supported by the European Development Fund. It combines the expertise accumulated by the OECD – which produces the OECD Economic Outlook twice yearly – with the knowledge of the AfDB, UNECA and a network of African research institutions on African economies.

This year’s Outlook reviews recent economic, social and political developments and the short-term likely evolution of 50 African countries. The African Economic Outlook is drawn from a country-by-country analysis based on a unique common framework. This includes a forecasting exercise for 2010 to 2012 using a simple macroeconomic model, together with an analysis of the social and political context. Its overview chapter provides a comparative synthesis of African country prospects which places the evolution of African economies in the world economic context. A statistical appendix completes the volume.  

African Economic Outlook 2010 focuses on public resource mobilisation and aid in Africa, presenting a comprehensive review of best practices in tax administration, policies and multilateral agreements, including recommendations for meeting future challenges. The role that aid should play to help African countries mobilise their public resources to meet their development goals is also discussed. The original dataset that resulted from the 50-country analysis will be made available for free on www.africaneconomicoutlook.org.

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OECD Development Centre

In 2009 Rwanda’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 4.5% and is projected to recover moderately in 2010 to 5.1% (Figure 1). The impressive growth that the country has experienced over the last six years has largely been driven by the good performance of the agricultural sector. However, the government is making efforts to diversify the economy as a long-term strategy for sustaining longterm growth. In particular, Rwanda is the second most densely populated country in sub-Saharan Africa after Mauritius with a population density of 384 inhabitants per square kilometer in 2008. While practical steps have been taken to address environmental challenges stemming from population pressures, which threatened agricultural productivity, further productivity growth in agriculture is likely to require higher investment levels than has been the case before. In addition, 28% of Rwandans are food-insecure in spite of improvements in this field. The country also remains highly dependent on foreign aid, which accounted for more than 45% of the government budget in 2009.

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