Thursday, June 07, 2007

Pulling up stumps

In the ICC World Cricket League Division Three competition just completed in Darwin, Tanzania lifted its ranking from 7th to 6th in the Division of eight teams.

Tanzania's captain, Hamisi Abdallah, bowling in Darwin

That’s a good effort! And what a great experience for these cricketers to have the opportunity to travel and play against seven other countries from around the world, including Argentina and Italy as well as smaller nations like Fiji and Cayman Islands.

I hope that the kids at St Jude’s get the chance to learn cricket. Perhaps cricket is one of the many opportunities that will develop as the school becomes more established and the children grow into the high school years.

It seems to me that things are changing rapidly in Africa because so many countries are on the path of economic growth. A recent OECD report, African Economic Outlook 2006/2007, indicated that GDP growth rate in Africa has averaged about 5 percent annually in the past six years, rising to 5.5 percent in 2006, and is expected to reach 6 percent in 2007.
The report noted that sound macroeconomic policies in most African countries has increased business confidence leading to a pickup in private sector investment.

The Chief Economist of the African Development Bank, Dr. Louis Kasekende pointed out that,

Yet, the continent still needs to accelerate and sustain growth to the level of 7 to 8 percent to be able to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the proportion of people living in extreme poverty by 2015.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) annual report on sub-Saharan Africa said,

Optimism over sub-Saharan Africa has grown in recent years, thanks to debt relief, global economic expansion, high prices for commodities such as oil and a general improvement in policy-making.

The IMF said it was too early to assess whether the higher growth rates were helping poverty but noted governments had been using the proceeds of debt relief to provide key services.

With these gains, it is likely that when the kids of St Jude’s graduate, they will be poised to step into the professional roles needed by their growing economy. Perhaps they will also get to play cricket and travel the world!

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