Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: The World Economic Forum report on “The African Competitive report 2013” released on Thursday has asked the African countries to boost long-term competitiveness so as to ensure sustainable improvements in living standards.
The report includes detailed competitiveness profiles for 38 African countries, providing a comprehensive summary of the drivers of productivity and competitiveness in countries across the continent.
Through a comprehensive analysis of Africa’s most pressing competitiveness challenges, the report discusses the barriers to increased trade, including the state of Africa’s infrastructure and its legal and regulatory environment.
The report further added that most of the world’s least competitive economies are in Africa, which means they do not have the level of productivity needed for prosperity.
It similarly considers how innovative public-private partnerships, often anchored to potential growth poles, can serve as incubators for self-sustaining industrialization, more jobs, greater opportunities and more dynamic regional integration.
The continent’s robust pace of growth of more than 5% over the past decade had not yet led to the same magnitude of rising living standards observed in other regions with similar growth patterns, it pointed out.
The report stressed the importance of achieving regional integration which it said is a key vehicle for helping Africa to raise competitiveness, diversify its economic base and create enough jobs for its young, fast-urbanizing population.
"Africa's growth needs to be seen in the wider international context, where encouraging gains in economic growth belie an underlying weakness in its long-term competitiveness," said Jennifer Blanke, Chief Economist of WEF.
He further said, "Regional integration is key to addressing this weakness through the delivery of wider social and economic benefits and should be prioritized by Africa's leaders as they look to ensure that Africa delivers on its promise".
“The representation by Africa’s leaders indicates that Africa’s attitude towards itself and its attitude towards the rest of the world have changed. We would like to see an Africa that is self-sufficient in every way, and that is possible,” Jacob G. Zuma, President of South Africa had said during the opening plenary of the WEF.
The WEF forum kicked off in Cape Town, South Africa on May 08 and will continue till May 10, 2013.