Equatorial Guinea Success, but Liberalisation of Business climate Needed
An article out today from African Arguments looks at cross-border data from the company “Cross-border Information ”on Equatorial Guinea to analyse if those hydrocarbon dollars are building wealth for individuals and creating a “middle-income country” with a Volvo parked outside. The article quotes the African Development Bank Country Strategy Paper released 18 July 2013 highlighting the country as having the highest per capita income of any sub-Saharan country with potential to be an important regional energy hub., in a region where energy infrastructure remains one of the key prizes for economic development. The problem is the oil and gas industry doesn’t seem to be producing jobs and 75pc of the population live on less than USD2 per day.
While building of “prestige projects” has been criticised by the IMF (Football stadium) the article notes that liberalisation of the private sector business climate is key to achieving economic growth alongside going down the route of Government sponsored infrastructure build.
A good kick start might be for overseas firms operating in EG to establish business partnerships in local communities and help people start to develop micro-economies in the regions they operate in.
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