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The Economic Report on Africa, 2005

ECA report puts Ethiopia in list of six countries managing required GDP growth for MDG attainment:

Addis Ababa, 19 December 2005 - The Economic Commission for Africa 's (ECA) "Economic Report on Africa 2005" launched here on Monday shows that Ethiopia attained a GDP growth required to achieve the Millennium Development Goal to halve poverty by 2015.

The new report shows also that despite record economic growth in Africa , poverty is actually getting worse.

The report entitled: "Meeting the Challenges of Unemployment and Poverty in Africa ", lists Ethiopia among five other countries as having successfully achieved beyond the 7 per cent minimun GDP growth requisite in 2004.

The report shows that Ethiopia registered an 11.6 per cent GDP growth in the year 2004 while most African countries failed to meet the 7 per cent or more required to achieve the Millennium Development Goal I.

The other five countries listed alongside Ethiopia are Chad , Equatorial Guinea , Liberia , Angola and Mozambique .

It indicates that 12 African countries had reached their HIPC completion point by the end of 2004 and qualified for debt relief. In 2004 alone, it says, five African countries reached their completion point in the enhanced HIPC Initiative: Ethiopia , Ghana , Madagascar , Niger and Senegal . While no country reached the HIPC decision point in 2004, 11 countries had reached it before that year, qualifying for interim debt relief.

An ECA press release entitled "ERA 2005: Job creation lies at the heart of the poverty battle", said, "Despite showing signs of rapid change, at a record 5.2 percent growth in 2005, Africa's economy is dampened by record unemployment and higher rates of poverty than ever before. The implication is that poverty has been unresponsive to economic growth."

The report prepared by ECA's Economic and Social Policy Division (ESPD) in collaboration with the International Labor Organization (ILO) highlights the link between inadequate economic growth and unemployment. It indicates the existence in Sub-Saharan Africa alone of more than 29 million unemployed people to date.

Speaking at the report launching, ESPD director Augustin Fosu says, "The volatility of growth has added to the vulnerability of the poor. Only a few countries in Africa have sustained growth over the years, though many have reformed and are on the right track."

"And sustained growth is precisely what is necessary in order to increase employment and reduce poverty," Fosu said.

Source: ENA