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Africa is rising but Francophone Africa is lagging behind Anglophone Africa?

It is clear that Africa is lagging behind Western and Asian countries in two major themes of the 21st century: New Technology and Entrepreneurship. These are on the one hand job creators promoting economic development and on the other hand human development factors.

According to a study conducted by IBM, the lack of entrepreneurial spirit and adoption of technology hampers the growth of African companies. But with the awareness and many initiatives taken by African governments, English-speaking Africa has taken a big step ahead of French-speaking Africa in terms of economic development and technological progress. As proof, Francophone countries account just for 19% of the average gross domestic product of sub-Saharan Africa, when Anglophones account for 47% (even excluding South Africa)

Certain French speaking African countries have been unfamiliar to even the most open-minded and adventurous investor. While English-speaking countries such as Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya have firmly positioned themselves as the powerhouses, francophone Africa has traditionally lagged behind (Bourabiat, 2017). Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Sénégal and Togo are the countries using the West African CFA franc as their currency and are a piece of the Monetary and Economic Union of West Africa (U.M.O.A.). These eight nations have a consolidated population of roughly 102.5 million individuals – and represent a portion of the most noticeably bad performing economies on the planet, despite their rich natural resources. There are three main reasons why Francophone-West Africa (which incorporates the ex-Portuguese state Guinea-Bissau, as it utilizes the CFA Franc as cash) does not perform as well as Anglophone countries (Annie, 2014): an economy controlled by France, political instability and, inefficiency in the Global economy.

A significant number of the French-speaking nations that work in the Monetary and Economic Union of West Africa (U.M.O.A.) have confronted political Catastrophes lately. Côte d’Ivoire, for instance, has endured as of late because of race debate, viciousness and political agitation. It has suffered monetarily because investors are afraid of instability. All West African government officials know the risk of instability on the ability to attract investors but politics is, unfortunately, the priority of most leaders in this region. Delays and uncertainty around elections can be catastrophic. These delays can lead to a hold-up in terms of receiving debt relief from the IMF, and they also contribute to a significant loss of investor appetite. While Côte d’Ivoire may be showing signs of some economic recovery, in recent years investment has gone to other countries and these countries are nowhere else than neighbourhood Anglophone countries such as Ghana, Nigeria etc.

So the question is should Francophone Africa countries be considered as rising countries? If so aren’t political, aren’t economic and technological factors that need to be addressed in order for Francophone Africa to unleash its entire growth potential?

My next Blog will be dedicated to providing analytical arguments regarding the Francophone Africa case.



Melnic A. (2014): Why Francophone Africa economies trai

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