WASHINGTON, April 13, 2014—African countries continue to sustain high growth, and a number of them are geared to producing finished goods from their homegrown raw materials.
This was the message at the African Finance Ministers Press Conference held April 12th during the IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings.
The press conference featured ministers from Chad, Mozambique and Uganda, and also included Djibouti’s Governor of the Central Bank.
As part of the exploitation and production of petroleum in Uganda, for example, Uganda’s Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development Maria Kiwanuka announced that Uganda is poised to build an oil refinery.
“We are going to build a refinery in Uganda which will be supplying the East Africa region with petroleum products,” she said.
Similarly with coffee, Kiwanuka said, “We are moving to make sure we get coffee roasting factories in-country—so [it] does not go out as coffee beans and come back as coffee from another country.”
Many African countries are boasting significant growth rates. The four African countries featured at the press conference represent a cross section of growth on the continent.
Chad is currently growing at 8%, but expects double-digit growth for 2014 given that the country has two new oil fields that will be operational this year. Mozambique, which has been growing at the rate of 7% in the last 10 years, expects 8% growth in 2014, while Uganda’s growth is expected at 5.7% for FY 2014 and 6% for 2015. Djibouti has a growth rate of 5%.
Mozambique’s Minister of Finance Manuel Chang acknowledged that in the last decade sub-Saharan African countries had a focus on economic development, putting many of the countries among fastest growing economies in the world.
“This performance made many countries increase their development and common prosperity,” Chang said.
Chad’s Minister of Finance and Budget, Bedoumra Kordje, emphasized the importance of public private partnerships (PPP) because government cannot be expected to do everything. “We know that economic growth and job creation is a matter of the private sector,” he emphasized.