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Background Papers

Telecommunication Markets and Trends in Sub-Saharan Africa
Kenneth Ngwa Anye
11/30/2010 - 14:19

Over the past decade, the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector in sub- Saharan Africa (hereafter referred to as “Africa”) has experienced spectacular growth, driven largely by the expansion of mobile technology and Internet usage.

Gulf Food Security and Agricultural
Eckart Woertz
11/30/2010 - 14:24

The Gulf countries are heavily dependent on food imports. This dependence will rise due to population growth and declining domestic agriculture. As water is scarce, the latter is certain even without climate change. Besides, the Gulf countries will be heavily affected by any failure to increase global agricultural
output. OECD and FAO estimate that global food production will need to increase by 40 percent by
2030 and 70 percent by 2050 to meet rising demand.

GCC-Africa Trade: Trends, Prospects and Policy Imperatives
Samir Pradhan
11/30/2010 - 14:30

Trading relations between the Arab Gulf and Africa developed after the rise of Islam in the 7th century.
Historical evidence describes trade between Egypt,has been increasing consistently. Comparative factor endowment has been the main cause for intensification of GCC-Africa trade in the recent past
which also points to growing complementarities. Moreover, with the global South fast emerging as
the epicenter of the world economy, GCC-Africa trade is poised to be another major global economic

Opportunities for Gulf-Africa Energy Cooperation
Philip Andrews-Speed
11/30/2010 - 14:35

Energy is arguably the most important physical input required for economic development and a decent
standard of living, and yet the supply and availability of modern energy is highly variable around the world
and even across the GCC-Africa regions. Energy is now a global commodity supplied by international
companies in global or regional markets and creating environmental damage on a regional and
global scale. At the same time, increasing potential exists to produce energy locally, but this relies on
technology developed in other countries. These simple observations can provide the basis for energy
cooperation within and between regions such as the GCC and Africa.

Africa from the Bottom Up: Cities, Economic Growth and Prosperity in Sub-Saharan Africa
Monitor Group
11/30/2010 - 14:40

During the recent global financial crisis, growth rates in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) declined to less than
two percent following an unusually robust period between 1995 and 2007 during which they averaged
five percent. Amid signs of incipient recovery, SSA’s long-term development trajectory remains
uncertain: will the region resume healthy growth, or will its well known political, economic, and social challenges hold it back yet again?

Inflation Strain Subsides: Outlook Highlights Lower Inflation Amid Steady Economic Upturn
John Sfakianakis,Daliah Merzaban,Turki A. Al Hugail
12/02/2010 - 21:52

The Saudi economy is finishing off 2010 in better form than it started due to healthy oil prices, recuperating business and financial activity, improved trade and tourism, and inflationary pressures that are beginning to taper off from summer peaks. Oil prices have averaged a secure $78.76 a barrel in the first 11 months of 2010, almost 30% above prices during the same period last year. Along with growing global energy demand, robust oil prices are strengthening the kingdom’s fiscal position and outlook and enabling the state to continue engaging thoroughly in the economic recovery process.