Go to AfricaBib home

Go to AfricaBib home AfricaBib Go to database home

bibliographic database
Previous page New search

The free AfricaBib App for Android is available here

Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Living down the past: how Europe can help Africa grow
Author:Collier, PaulISNI
Periodical:African Development Perspectives Yearbook
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:institutional change
European Union
Abstract:Overall, Africa was the slowest growing continent during the 1970s and 1980s. Contributing factors included restrictive trade policies, the high volatility of African economies, the poor quality of public services, and the restricted social networks of African firms. During the 1990s some African governments embarked upon policy reform in a serious way. The effect of these reforms is now starting to come through on growth rates. However, because of its past, Africa is seen as a very high risk environment, and this is deterring investment. This is reinforced by the 'basket case' tag, by which the investment community makes inferences about the African investment environment based on low-cost information sources. A reforming African government needs to signal that it is genuine about its declarations. It needs to reinforce signalling by taking actions which lock-in its reforms, increasing the political costs of their reversal. Of the international 'agencies of restraint' - the international financial institutions, the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the European Union - the European Union is well-suited to the provision of a restraint mechanism for reforming African governments, and it can offer this facility rapidly, by transforming the Lomé Agreement into a reciprocal free trade deal including protection from anti-dumping suits. A credible open trade regime would offer Africa the best prospects of rapid growth. This would be in the interests of Europe as well, and would be both cheaper and more effective than the current aid transfers. Bibliogr.