Poor governance and public sector capacity enhancement are the major drawbacks of economy in the African continent. Says the World Bank.
Over the last decade Africa experienced a backdrop of 2.2 per cent in economic growth this is amid the global warming and other microeconomic shocks such as the increased HIV prevalence, low levels of education and poor infrastructure.
Noting that the continent was on a steady growth before the onset of global warming, the World bank Vice president for Africa region, Obiageli Ezekwesili said the two areas are the greatest challeneges affecting the continent’s economic growth.
“Before the onset of global warming, Africa had started growing at a rate of 5.7 per cent per annum. This is a backdrop of 2.2 per cent of the growth experienced a decade before,” said Ezekwesili. At a policy debate on the role of media in development.
Adding that the downward growth later rose to reach 3.8 per cent by last year. However she said the growth which was a rebound from the collapse was not sufficient. She has now expressed optimism that through the partnership with the media the growth will go back to 5.4 to 5.7 per cent.
“The growth recorded last year is not sufficient; however with the partnership with the media, we hope that the growth will turn to its truck. Economic growth is important as it will determine on how the countries will address poverty,” she said.
At the same time she reiterated that for Africa to fully recover the economic recessesion, it should grow at a rate of seven per cent.
Noting that many African countries rely on one source to fund its projects the world bank’s vice president said that it is a high time the leaders of the African states stop the reliance failure to which the continent will continue suffering from the microeconomic shocks.
“African nations rely on only one source for funding. Like Nigeria relies on oil, Zambia on copper and so forth. During the scarcity and the escalating oil prices, the countries experience the microeconomic shock,” said Ezekwesili adding that food oil prices and health factors are the major microeconomic shocks facing Africa.
She is calling upon the continental leaders to build resilience towards the factors as matters governance and public capacity enhancement remains a key focus.
“If there is no one demanding for better services and performance, the investors will not be able to realize any profits, there should be accountability,” she said.
She at the same time challenged media consider changing or adding more valuable contents to improve on the economic development.
On the issue of poor financial and business reporting that were viewed to crop up from poor funding of individual media houses and lack of proper incentives for journalists in the various publications and broadcast stations, Ezekweseli said that through sound and positive policies in the institutions will be the key to acquiring expertise.
“Africa lacks experts in economic reporting; this has made it difficult for the poor to comprehend the difficult terms like physical and fiscal, or rather differentiating between World Bank and IMF. The only solution to acquire expertise is through provision of sound positive policies,” said Ezekweseli.
Media law reforms, poor remuneration bargains, were among the factors found to hinder the role of media in enhancing development in the continent.