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Africa Country Analysis

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Essay title: Africa Country Analysis

These countries are evidence of different ways of thinking about it. Depending on what industry you are in, what your tolerance of risk is and what you are looking to get, you could go to other countries. We wanted to highlight some of those countries in order to show some examples of countries that are, in their class, best prospects. Identifying these classes, however, was challenging, as Africa is not only huge but has very diverse nationstates.

Morocco

Morocco is the westernmost country in the Maghreb region of Africa. It has all of the basic fundamentals of a well-developing country: good governance, political stability, financial infrastructure, and a good economy. A constitutional monarchy, Morocco is the only African country that is not currently a member of the African Union. However, it is a member of the Arab League, Arab Maghreb Union, Organization of the Islamic Conference, Mediterranean Dialogue group, and Group of 77, and is a major non-NATO ally.

According to the African Development Bank, Morocco’s GDP of $147 billion accounts for 6% of the African continent. This makes Morocco the fifth largest economy in Africa, after South Africa, Egypt, Algeria and Nigeria. The economy is characterized by exchange with countries outside of Africa, with France as its largest trade partner, creditor and foreign investor.

Morocco’s largest source of income comes from the mining of phosphates. Its second largest source of income is from nationals living abroad who transfer money to relatives living in Morocco. The country's third largest source of revenue is tourism. The Moroccan workforce is largely agricultural, and Morocco has an unemployment rate of 7.7% with 19% of the Moroccan population living below the poverty line.

Since the early 1980’s, the Moroccan government has pursued economic reforms with the support of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Paris Club of creditors. The country's currency, the Dirham, is now fully convertible for current account transactions, reforms of the financial sector have been implemented, and state enterprises are being privatized.

The current government has also introduced a series of structural political and corporate governance reforms in recent years. The most promising reforms have been in the liberalization of the telecommunications sector. Morocco also has liberalized rules for oil and gas exploration and has granted concessions for many public services in major cities.

Ghana

Well endowed with natural resources, Ghana has roughly twice the per capita output of the poorest countries in West Africa. Ghana’s GDP is estimated at $59.15 billion for 2006, but its purchasing power parity is one of the worst in the world. Ghana remains heavily dependent on international financial and technical assistance for its population of 22,409,572. The economic growth rate is expected to remain robust, especially with the focus on the economy in the run-up to the 2008 democratic elections.

The domestic economy continues to revolve around subsistence agriculture, which accounts for 40% of GDP and employs 60%-70% of the work force, mainly small landholders. By West African standards, Ghana has a diverse and rich resource base. Cash crops consist primarily of cocoa and cocoa products (which typically provide about two-thirds of export revenues), timber products, palm oil, coconuts and other palm products, shea nuts, and coffee.

Ghana's industrial base is relatively advanced compared to many other African countries. Import-substitution industries include textiles, steel, tires, oil refining, flour milling, beverages, tobacco, simple consumer goods, and car, truck and bus assembly. The tourism industry has also become one of Ghana’s largest foreign income earners, and the government has placed great emphasis on further tourism support and development.

It was the first African country to obtain independence from colonial rule. Ghana has a relatively stable democracy, however, and is scheduled to hold its next democratic election in December of 2008.

Nigeria

Probably the most important development for the progress of democracy in Africa in recent years has taken place in Nigeria, Africa’s second most populous country. After almost a decade of promises, the military finally yielded power to a civilian administration following elections in 1999.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit and the World Bank, Nigerian GDP at purchasing power parity was only at $170.7 billion as of FY 2005. The GDP per head is at $692. Nigeria was the number 2 importer and exporter in Africa in the year 2006, with 24.2%

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