Monday, March 25, 2013

Economic growth and political stability

This statement--from the International Crisis Group's November 2012 report on the Cote d'Ivoire--seems wrong.  Not 100% wrong perhaps, but deeply flawed.  
The clear priority given to the promotion of strong economic growth to reduce unemployment and poverty is welcome, but it cannot be a substitute for political gestures dedicated to national reconciliation.
Perhaps economic growth cannot fully "substitute" for "political gestures" towards reconciliation, but I imagine that it is by far the more important of the two.  I don't mean to understand the importance of political gestures, but I believe that statements such as these can grossly overstate their importance, and that this is a flaw in many discussion of IR theory.  

File this under, "When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail."  

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A glance at economic growth in the Cote d'Ivoire in recent years

An overview of the post-colonial era, via Wikipedia:
Almost 70% of the Ivorian people are engaged in some form of agricultural activity. GDP per capita grew 82% in the 1960s, reaching a peak growth of 360% in the 1970s. But this proved unsustainable and it shrank by 28% in the 1980s and a further 22% in the 1990s.

Growth has been basically static since 2000, when the civil war broke out.  The economy grew steadily (if unspectacularly) from 2008-2010, but shrank by 4.7% in 2011 as the civil war increased in intensity.  

Growth accelerated rapidly in 2012 as the political situation stabilized.  According a government spokesman in October 2012, the economy was expected to grow by 8.6% in 2012 and 9% in 2013.  The government's proposed budget for 2013 was expected to be up by 17% over its 2012 budget.  

The Cote d'Ivoire's main exports are cocoa, cashews, coffee, rubber and oil.  Lots of other interesting facts in this Christian Science Monitor article.