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Publication(Washington, DC, 2012-01) World BankThis book is the result of an extensive agenda of analytical work on regional trade integration in Africa involving staff from various units of the Africa region of the World Bank. The aim of this volume is to provide the main messages from this work to a wide audience the private sector, civil society, key ministries, relevant agencies that is necessary to provide the consensus and broad base for successful implementation of reforms. Africa is not achieving its potential in regional trade. The contributions to this volume highlight the enormous scope for increased cross-border trade in Africa and the reasons why such opportunities are not being exploited. The main objective of this introductory chapter is to draw attention to the key reason why Africa's potential for regional trade remains unexploited: the high transaction costs that face those who trade across borders in Africa. The contributions to the volume discuss a wide range of policy related barriers that drive up costs and limit trade. The chapter starts with a review of recent export performance in Africa, noting the strong growth rates in many countries. However, the impact of such growth on employment and poverty has been much muted and important challenges remain, especially with regard to greater diversification of exports, and it is here that effective regional integration that reduces transaction costs can play a key role. The paper then discusses the key barriers that raise costs for traders and continue to fragment the African market. Finally, the paper ends with some specific recommendations for action that policy makers can take at the regional level to support integrated markets in Africa and discusses how the World Bank and other donors can support those wishing to implement the necessary reforms.
Publication(Washington, DC, 2008-10) World BankFollowing a decade of relatively strong growth, Guinea's economic performance weakened beginning in 2000. During 1992-1999, growth averaged 4.4 percent a year as the Government implemented a program of economic reforms aimed at liberalizing its economy and improving the environment for private sector investment. With a tightening of financial policies over the 1990s, inflation reached single digits by the late 1990s and the fiscal deficit averaged just over 3 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the second half of the 1990s. However, since 2000 growth slowed to an average of 2.8 percent a year and inflation increased to 39 by 2006. Guinea's worsening economic performance since 2000 reflects a weaker policy framework and exogenous shocks. Macroeconomic policies were relaxed, as fiscal policy was loosened and monetary policy became highly accommodative. Government revenues from the mining sector dropped, despite a recovery in the price of bauxite-Guinea's most important export. Also, a heightened level of regional insecurity and a resulting considerable influx of refugees in Guinea put pressure on government expenditures. As a result, the fiscal deficit rose to an average of 5 percent of GDP in 2000-2004. An accommodative monetary policy led to double digit inflation and a crowding out of credit to the private sector. A concomitant slowdown in the implementation of economic reforms, coupled with increased uncertainty in the political climate and deteriorating quality of public institutions, contributed to the slowdown in economic activity.
Publication(Washington, DC, 2007-06-24) World BankThe World Bank is committed to support sub-Sahara Africa in responding to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This Agenda for Action is a road map for Bank management and staff over the next five years to fulfill that commitment. It focuses on mainstreaming HIV/AIDS activities into broader national development agendas as a critical aspect of economic growth and human capacity development. In preparing the Agenda for Action, consultations have been carried out over several months with a broad constituency, including countries, donors, communities and nonprofit organizations.