Africa Trade and Investment

The value of Africa’s total exports in 1990 was almost 2% of the world’s total exports. Almost all exports consist of unprocessed raw materials (especially crude oil) and food. Although exports are minimal compared to world trade, they nevertheless account for 22% of the continent’s total production (GDP). Therefore, Africa is heavily dependent on world market prices. The relationship between the prices of Africa’s exports and imports, the trade-off, developed negatively from the early 1980’s, falling from index 168 in 1981 to index 96 in 1989. This meant that Africa was getting harder and harder to finance its imports..

Foreign trade is concentrated on the EU countries, which in 1990 reduced about half of exports; Here, Nigeria’s oil exports accounted for a significant share. According to CountryAAH, 60% of imports of all countries in Africa come from the EU – European Union. By contrast, trade between African countries is severely limited; in 1990, less than 7% of total African countries exported to other African countries.

Map of Africa 2

The continent’s limited share of total world trade is offset by an even more pronounced lack of foreign private investment. With few exceptions, no African countries have received foreign investment to any significant degree in the 1980’s. Nigeria with the large oil sector as well as South Africa are the only significant exceptions to sub-Saharan Africa.

Africa’s marginalization in relation to the world economy is both a consequence and a cause of the continent’s economic situation deteriorating. This will include expressed in a sharp increase in total debt to the outside world. In sub-Saharan countries, debt rose to $ 146 billion. dollars in 1990, a tripling during the 1980’s. Paying interest and repayments is a huge burden on the already troubled economies. In some years, countries are paying 30% or more of their export earnings to pay back and repay the debt.

The North African countries were also heavily indebted throughout the 1980’s; however, Egypt had its debt down by more than 50% from 1990 to 1991 – a recognition of Egyptian support for the international fight against Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait in 1990.

North African countries

Countries in North Africa

Sudan – North Africa

Sudan is a country in Africa. The capital of the country is Khartoum. Around 35 million Sudanese people, Sudanese people of other nationalities, live in Sudan. The official languages ​​are Arabic and English. Sudan covers an area of ​​around 2 million km² and is therefore around six times the size of Italy. The highest mountain in Sudan is the Marra at 3,042 meters. Neighboring countries are Ethiopia, Egypt, Chad, South Sudan, Libya, Eritrea and the Central African Republic.


Morocco – North Africa

Morocco is a state in Africa. The capital of the country is Rabat. Around 35 million Moroccans and Moroccans of other nationalities live in Morocco. The official languages ​​are Arabic and Tamazight. Morocco covers an area of ​​around 447,000 km² and is about five times the size of the Republic of Austria. The highest mountain in Morocco is the Toubkal at 4,165 meters. Neighboring countries are Spain, Algeria and the Western Sahara.


Libya – North Africa

Libya is a state in Africa. The capital of the country is Tripoli. About 6.3 million Libyans and Libyans of other nationalities live in Libya, making Libya one of the most sparsely populated regions in the world. The official language is Arabic. Libya covers an area of ​​around 2 million km² and is therefore around three times the size of France. Neighboring countries are Egypt, Algeria, Sudan, Niger, Tunisia and Chad.

In close cooperation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), during the 1980’s, the World Bank (IBRD) prepared economic reform programs for a large number of African countries. Structural reforms aimed at a radical liberalization of the economy; By eliminating state control measures and government control, the Monetary Fund and the World Bank hoped that economies could get started. In addition to general liberalization, the two financial institutions demanded that governments try to promote exports. The goal was a growth in foreign exchange earnings to facilitate the repayment of foreign debt. In most countries, the positive results of the economic horse race did not appear or were waiting for. In many places the reforms led to growing social and political turmoil.

It is characteristic that the implementation of economic structural reforms was increasingly conditional on African countries being able to obtain development assistance from the rich world. The EC (later the EU) and including Denmark began to endorse the reform requirements set by the World Bank and the Monetary Fund. This was particularly important as the total aid provided by the Community countries during the 1980s represented more than half of the total assistance to sub-Saharan Africa. In North Africa, too, the EU is an important aid provider.

EU aid is partly channeled from one country to another (bilateral assistance). major French development programs in the former French colonies, partly through the EU’s multilateral agreement, the Lomé Convention, which includes 45 African countries. These are substantial sums; In 1990/91, development aid accounted for 11% of total GDP in sub-Saharan countries, and at least half came from Western European countries.