Sunday, January 25, 2009

Trends in incomes in five African countries

Here's what's been happening in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Sierra Leone (we're not there yet...), Tanzania and Uganda over the past three decades. GNI stands for Gross National Income, and is measured here in "standardized" dollars and divided by the population, so it is roughly "income per person". That income may be distributed quite unequally, especially between urban and rural population. The effects of the war in Sierra Leone are evident, and the legacy of the Ugandan disarray explains why it is poorer than the others. The other three countries seem to be having a very similar experience, and the general upwards trend illustrates why economists are lately more optimistic about the continent.

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