New report highlights Africa's star performers
BUSINESS| June 13, 2011, 2:04 p.m.
‘ Progress in African development happens best when it is led by African states and citizens’ is the message from a new global research project released by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).
The ODI’ s new Mapping Progress report identifies the crucial role of effective leadership, smart policies, proper institutional foundations and international partnerships in driving development and calls for a new outlook on development. The report highlights star performers, surprise performers and potential performers across the continent for their progress in various areas including growth, agriculture, healthcare, education and sanitation.
ODI Director Alison Evans said: “ Looking across all of these tremendous examples we can see that the most transformative and sustainable developments have occurred when the commitment to change has come from African countries and communities.
“ This has happened in a number of ways – from the quality of political and technical leadership, to the quality and quantity of financing to specific innovations in delivery.
“ The world’ s perception of Africa needs to change and we hope that this report will show a continent making great strides towards a brighter future.”
The drivers of development
Smart leadership – Transformation in Ghana, Rwanda and Brazil would not have happened without Presidents Rawlings, Kagame and Lula.
Smart policies – Progress has involved a changing role for government away from controlling (markets and prices) to facilitating and enabling (investment and production), and, in the best cases empowering citizens. Policies have been built on clear vision or national strategy and have been evidence based.
Smart institutions – In many countries, progress has been achieved through governance reforms that have decentralised and strengthened local institutions. Reforms have not only led to improved service delivery but also enabled more effective revenue collection and management of public finances.
Smart friends – Effective international partnerships can be important catalysts for progress. These partnerships can take various forms beyond aid, including the transfer of knowledge and technology, international trading relations and diplomatic interventions.
Development Progress Stories include:
Ghana (Star performer)
Government-led reforms of the domestic cocoa market have driven a tremendous record of agricultural growth – averaging over 5% for the last 25 years. Ghana is on track to meet Millennium Development Goal 1 – halving rates of poverty and malnutrition by 2015. Having raised food production per capita by more than 80% since the early 1980s, Ghana is largely self-sufficient in staple foods.
Star performers, such as Ghana, have shown sustained progress for more than two decades. By diversifying products and services they have added considerable value to national performance. Star countries display a more mature level of development and are now beginning to face challenges more common to developed countries such as environmental degradation, aging populations and non-communicable diseases. Other Star perfomers include Bhutan, Thailand, Brazil and Uganda.
Ethiopia (Surprise performer)
Since emerging from civil war in 1991, Ethiopia has significantly improved access to education for its population. Primary school enrolment rates have risen by more than 13 million since 2005. A sustained Government commitment matched by increased spending, allowing the removal of school fees, has triggered this astonishing rise. Other surprise performers are Rwanda, Cambodia, Laos and Somaliland.
Surprise performers such as Ethiopia have delivered progress against the odds, often recovering from crisis and war or dealing with ongoing conflict, challenging political situations and highly inaccessible topography. The surprise elements of progress in these countries often lie in the speed of recovery, sometimes allowing them to eclipse previous levels of development.
Malawi (Potential performer)
Malawi has the potential to deliver significant progress towards its development over the next decade according to a newly published global research project.
The country’ s recent progress in providing economic stability has begun to have a positive effect on development indicators, placing Malawi in the top 20 performers on several of the Millennium Development Goals. Growth of over 7% per year for most of the last decade and a steady fall in rates of inflation suggest a bright future for the country. Potential performers such as Malawi have shown recent examples of progress, often achieved over a short period of time.
Progress may be limited to individual sectors or regions. Whilst these countries have already produced impressive results they now need to sustain them into the future. Other potential performers include Benin, Malawi and Burkina Faso.
MORE BUSINESS NEWS
Contact centres: cog in the machine or customer experience hub?As customer experience becomes the primary competitive advantage in business, the role of the contact centre is changing significantly. But whether it becomes the heart of the business or a component of the bigger machine depends on the business, say African contact centre experts. Read More
Building an African Dream: The Wyzetalk journeyEnterprise social networking company Wyzetalk examines the challenges and opportunities it encountered as a startup in Africa. Read More
African organisations under pressure to sharpen skills retention and employee engagementBusinesses across major African economies such as Kenya and Nigeria are coming under increasing pressure to align their strategies for retaining talent, compensating employees and engaging with their workforces with good international practices. Read More
The Workplace of the FuturePhilip Gregory, Senior Regional Executive: Johnson Controls GWS, Middle East & Africa, talks about the workplace of the future, how it will impact the workforce and how businesses can navigate the tension between employee demands and the needs of the corporation. Read More
New MTN boss Ebenezer Asante starts work at MTN Ridge officeThe former Chief Executive Officer for MTN Rwanda Ebenezer Asante has started work on Friday as the new CEO of Ghana’s leading network operator MTN at its plush Ridge Head quarters in Accra. Read More
Tigo Ghana CEO 2nd on Sweden’s list of 75 young and promising womenThe CEO of Tigo Ghana limited, Roshi Motman, has been named as the second most young, promising and prominent female executive on Sweden’s tall list of 75 outstanding women. Read More
Safaricom non-voice revenue, subscriber numbers show strong growthSafaricom has reported a total revenue increase of 13% to Kshs 163.4bn, with non-voice service revenue increasing by 27% to Kshs 68.8bn. Read More
She Leads Africa launches 2015 Entrepreneur ShowcaseThe premier platform for young female entrepreneurs across Africa has launched this year’s competition, with a $15,000 cash prize for the winners. Read More
Africa highlighted as high potential tech marketAfrica’s trade potential has come under the spotlight at the 5th annual DHL Global Technology Conference in Dubai. Read More
FEATURED STORYThe transformative power of affordable smartphones and unlimited data in Ghana
Smartphones are helping transform their lives of ordinary people in Ghana, Reports Nana Appiah Acquaye.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHNIMC infrastructure must be managed by credible people: NIMC chief
NIMC’s chief speaks to Kokumo Goodie about the role of the NIMC and his own legacy.