2004 State of Africa Report

COVER1_10_05small1The 2004 State of Africa Report was released February 21, 2005 at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.


Highlights From The African Leaders State of Africa Report 2002

Political and Civil Society Highlights


“[Benin] will celebrate without ceremony but with legitimate pride the forty-fourth anniversary of its accession to independence and international sovereignty. . . . Despite the turmoil and hardships presently observed throughout the world, our country is still a haven for peace, where hardworking people in our cities and our rural communities strive with courage and tenacity to increase production, transform their lives, and create the material foundations for prosperity and modernity.”


“As a nation we can, of course, take pride in our status as one of the world’s longest established multiparty democracies, as well as the oldest on this continent.”


“The decision to create a special Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs is paying healthy dividends. From the high-profile positions that are going to more and more women [to] the provision of credit to women engaged in farming and trading—and some say the performance of the girls’ schools—it is obvious that the female half of the population is coming into its own.”


“We have sworn in the representatives from thirty-three municipalities, who were elected during our second municipal elections last November. The second municipal elections marked an important moment in democratic elections.”

“Children are our priority. We were proud to attend the Second Session of National Children’s Parliament, which welcomed 114 “foot-and-a-half parliament participants” from all provinces. It was a unique moment for our children to exercise their rights, particularly the right to express an opinion.”


“In October 2005, Tanzania will hold its fifth cycle of
multiparty elections.”

Trade and Economic Highlights

“Despite the diplomatic efforts in the international economic arena, the conflict of ideas between developing and developed countries prevailed at last year’s Fifth World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference, in Cancún, Mexico, particularly with regard to the need to open markets to our agricultural export products. Developed countries insist on subsidizing production and exports and maintaining other kinds of support to farmers, to the detriment of the more efficient producers in the developing countries. In addition, nontariff barriers also limit the access of our products to international markets. Thus, solutions to the problems that prevent our products from getting a greater and more advantageous access to international markets were postponed. Agricultural products such as cotton and sugar will continue to get a fair price in the international market. If negotiations are quickly restarted, there may be a solution to the current deadlock and a positive impact on the reduction of poverty. Despite these problems, we praise the initiative of our trade partners in promoting our participation in international trade. Examples include the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), an initiative from the United States of America (USA) that gives preferential access to products from countries in the sub-Saharan region; the EU–ACP [European Union–African, Caribbean, and Pacific states] Business Assistance Scheme (EBAS), which includes everything but weapons; an initiative derived from the Cotonou Agreement between African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries and the European Union; and the European Union’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), which gives preferential access to products originating from developing countries, particularly the least-developed countries.” – His Excellency Joaquim Alberto Chissano, President of the Republic of Mozambique, African Leaders State of African Report 2004


“Our economy grew, resulting in a rise in GDP per capita of over 50 percent, from P13,400 per annum in 1999 to P20,500 by 2003.”


“A modern Clothing and Technology Training Centre (CTTC) has been established in Accra. It has trained over 2,500 operators to feed the textile and garment industry. Indeed, as a result, opportunities presented to the clothing and garments sector under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), Ghana’s nontraditional export to the United States increased significantly, from US$42 million in 2002 to US$62.5 million in 2003.”


“In science and technology, we have launched the Nigeria Sat-1, and plans are under way to launch our telecommunications satellite. This [is] in addition to work on a technology village, a Silicon Valley–type of project, and [a] heavy investment in computer literacy and software development.”


“Despite a prolonged drought in some parts of the country during 2002–2003, the average growth rate of the national economy for the past five years has been satisfactory, averaging 5.4 percent per annum… Export of goods for the year 2003 increased by 26.6 percent to US$1,142.4 compared to US$902.5 million recorded in 2002.”

“The 1999 Land Act was reviewed in order to facilitate [securitization] of land for accessing bank credit and other mortgage industry transactions. Amendments to the Land Act were passed by Parliament in February 2004.”