African economies remain uncompetitive- 2018 World Economic Forum report

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The various economies in Africa remain uncompetitive because of weak institutions and policies, the 2018 World Economic Forum (WEF) report has said.

While the world rankings are dominated by the US, Africa is largely represented in the lower classes of the rankings.

The WEF data shows that whereas the world average is 60 (showing that no country can be fully competitive), in Africa, it is 45.2 over 100.

According to the figures, 18 out of the 21 countries that had a score below 50 were from Sub-Saharan Africa and 17 out of the 34 Sub-Saharan economies ranked in the report are among the 20 less performing in the world.

While no African country is found in the top 10 of the most performing countries, eight Sub-Saharan countries are among the 10 less competitive.

Only two countries from the continent -Mauritius and South Africa had above-average scores pf 63.7 and 60.8 respectively.

On the other the hand, Chad was ranked 140th out of 140, with the lowest score both in Africa and in the World of 35.5.

According to the report’s authors, the low scores recorded by African economies is as a result of weak public institutions and inadequate public policies.

This, it noted, explains the reason Sub-Saharan Africa had the lowest score in 10 out of the 12 composites of the competitiveness report- namely economic environment, human capital, market, and innovation ecosystem.

It added that administrative complexity, inadequate public policies and countries’ inability to fill the technology gap justifies the poor score of African economies despite strong economic growth.

Sixteen African countries were not considered in the report. They include: Guinea-Bissau; Niger; Congo, Eritrea; Lybia; Somalia; Sudan; and South Sudan.

The rest are Madagascar, Equatorial Guinea, Togo, Central Africa, Gabon, Sao Tomé & Principe, Djibouti, and Comoros.

The global competitiveness index measures the competitiveness of national economies. It is based on 12 indicators: institutions, infrastructures, technology adoption, macroeconomic stability, health, expertise, production market, labor market, financial systems, market size, trade dynamism, and innovation capacity.

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