The Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) by the World Economic Forum (WEF) takes into account a country’s institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency and innovation, to name a few.
ALGERIA’S LEAP UP THE RANKINGS
According to the GCR, Algeria, which falls under the Middle East and North Africa jurisdiction, saw the rise of 21 places in its ranking mainly as a result of a sounder macroeconomic environment.
“Improvements are also seen in other areas, such as institutions and physical security, albeit from a low level. Some aspects of education also show a positive trend: for example, the quality of education seems to be improving,” the report said.
“A major overhaul of the institutional framework and increased focus on the efficiency of the goods, labour, and in particular financial markets will be necessary to put Algeria’s growth on a more sustainable trajectory.”
RWANDA AND KENYA SHINE FOR EAST AFRICA
In East Africa, Rwanda, the third most competitive economy in Africa, moved up the ranking by four places to 62 from 66 the previous year.
There was also major improvement in Kenya’s ranking at 90, up six places from 96 in the previous year’s ranking.
“Kenya continues its upward trend from last year and moves up by six places to reach 90th place, registering improvements in 11 out of 12 pillars, most notably in the areas of market efficiency,” said the report.
“Its economy is supported by financial markets that are well developed, an efficient labour market, and an increasingly more efficient goods market. Reducing the number of days and procedures to start a business could further improve the enabling environment for businesses.”
DIFFERENT COUNTRIES, SIMILAR ISSUES
WEF director and head of global competitiveness and risks, Margareta Drzeniek did however stipulate the substantial differences between the African economies at the top of the ranking, and those at the bottom.
“In Africa, what we see from the overall perspective is huge differences between the best performing and the worst. You’re looking at a continent that is by no means homogenous. This is also reflected in the competitiveness performance,” she said.
“At the same time, the issues that most of the countries are facing are in a way repetitive. We see that infrastructure is a topic that keeps coming up as a weakness. We see human capital issues – education, skills, preparing people for the workforce – as a challenge across a number of countries.”
The top 10 most competitive economies in Africa (according to the 2014-2015 WEF GCR)
1. Mauritius (39)
2. South Africa (56)
3. Rwanda (62)
4. Morocco (72)
5. Botswana (74)
6. Algeria (79)
7. Tunisia (87)
8. Namibia (88)
9. Kenya (90)
10. Seychelles (92)
The top 10 least competitive economies in Africa (according to the 2014-2015 WEF GCR)
1. Guinea (144)
2. Chad (143)
3. Mauritania (141)
4. Angola (140)
5. Burundi (139)
6. Sierra Leone (138)
7. Burkina Faso (135)
8. Mozambique (133)
9. Malawi (132)
10. Madagascar (130)