An UNCTAD report has revealed that commodity dependent countries in the African region increased from 40 countries to 45 countries, representing a 12.5 per cent increase.
According to latest data (2008/2009-2018/2019), the current number of commodity dependent countries, pegged at 45 reflects more than 80 per cent of countries on the continent. And based on figures from UNCTAD, 44.6 per cent of commodity dependent countries worldwide were in Africa, with commodity exports accounting for more than three-quarters of the region’s trade.
Among these countries, 17 of them relied on agricultural product exports, 16 on mining exports and 12 on fuel exports. Commodity exports as a share of merchandise exports increased from 81.9 percent in 2008/2009 to 76.7 percent in 2018/2019.
Sub-regionally, Southern Africa has the lowest level of commodity exports as a share of merchandise, at 59.9 percent in 2018/2019. Accordingly, two out of five countries in the sub-region rely on commodity exports. These countries include Botswana and Namibia, at 93.6 percent and 81.8 percent of merchandise exports, respectively, in 2018/2019.
Furthermore, this represents an increase of 7.4 and 14.5 percentage points, respectively, since 2008/2009. Both countries mainly rely on mining exports; export revenues from mining as a share of merchandise exports were 91.5 percent in Botswana and 58.8 percent in Namibia.
Also, South Africa is the largest commodity exporting country in the sub-region, in value terms, accounting for 83 per cent of the $372.3 billion in exports from the sub-region.
Other Sub-regional analysis of Commodity dependence in Africa
For Western, Eastern and Middle Africa sub-regions, the level of commodity dependence was identified as relatively high; at 94.8, 78.9 and 94.7 per cent of merchandise exports respectively.
In 2018/2019, of the 43 countries in these three sub-regions, only two in Eastern Africa- the Comoros and Mauritius, and one in Middle Africa- Central African Republic, were not commodity dependent.
Also, during this same period, in the sub-regions, three quarters of countries had a dependency rate higher than 73.7 percent. Countries in Eastern Africa and Western Africa are mainly dependent on exports of agricultural products and minerals, ores and metals. Also, in Middle Africa, 75 percent of commodity dependent countries mainly rely on fuel exports.
In Northern Africa, the number of commodity dependent African countries is six. In 2018/2019, three countries, namely Algeria, Libya and the Sudan, had a high level of dependence on commodity exports. Meanwhile, two countries, namely Morocco and Tunisia, had a marginal share, at 28 and 19.7 percent, respectively.
Furthermore, the commodity exports of Algeria and Libya are mainly fuels while exports from Sudan are mainly agricultural products. With Egypt having a dependency rate close to 60 per cent (53.7% in 2018/2019).
In Northern Africa, commodity export revenues represented 64.2 percent of merchandise exports from the sub-region in 2018/2019, and a decline of 15.4 percentage points from 2008/2009.
In value terms, Algeria and Libya together represented most commodity exports from the sub-region, at about 70 per cent.
On a global basis, however, there are 101 countries which are commodity dependent, representing 53 percent of the member States of UNCTAD.
READ ALSO: SOE’s and Joint Venture Companies make GHS3.72 billion in joint losses- SIGA
Leave a Reply