World Economic Forum published its annual Global Competitiveness Report and many of the world worst economies were found in Africa.
Below are list of The Least Competitive Economies in the World
> Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) score: 3.28
> GDP per capita: $3,358 (51st lowest)
> Debt as a pct. of GDP: 17.5% (22nd lowest)
> Individuals using Internet: 18.1% (46th lowest)
> Infant mortality rates: 55.1 per 1,000 live births (27th highest)
Of the 144 countries studied by the World Economic Forum, Swaziland ranked 14th lowest in providing basic requirements for competitiveness. The kingdom is ranked as one of the 20 worst macroeconomic environments in the world. Swaziland is rated so poorly partly because it is just one of three nations surveyed with a negative savings rate. The country also was especially ineffective, 135th out of 144, at promoting health and basic education, both of which are necessary for a productive and competitive workforce. The health problems presently facing Swaziland are among the worst in the world: 25.9% of the population is estimated to have had HIV or AIDS as of 2009.
> GCI score: 3.27
> GDP per capita: $3,949 (56th lowest)
> Debt as a pct. of GDP: 0% (the lowest)
> Individuals using Internet: 0.9% (2nd lowest)
> Infant mortality rates: 56.2 per 1,000 live births (25th highest)
Timor-Leste was a province of Indonesia from 1976 to 2002, when it was known as East Timor. While the country, with a population of 1.2 million, has since been independent, it has struggled to compete with other countries in the world. Timor-Leste’s infrastructure is poor and is ranked as the 14th worst out of 144 countries by the WEF, partially because the country’s roads and ports were rated as some of the worst in the world. Much of this may be the product of deliberate infrastructure destruction by anti-independence militias in the late 1990s. Additionally, health concerns are prevalent in the small tropical nation, which has some of the world’s highest incidences of malaria and tuberculosis.
> GCI score: 3.19
> GDP per capita: $1,264 (30th lowest)
> Debt as a pct. of GDP: 39.6% (71st lowest)
> Individuals using Internet: 4.2% (15th lowest)
> Infant mortality rates: 64.6 per 1,000 live births (18th highest)
According to the WEF, Lesotho was the ninth-worst country for providing the basic health and formal education necessary to develop a strong workforce. The small enclave of South Africa has among the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the world at 23.6% in 2009. The country was also the fifth worst in the world for tuberculosis incidence, at 633 cases per 100,000 people in 2010. In addition to health concerns, Lesotho also had poor ratings for the quality of its legal and administrative frameworks, ranking 24th lowest, and infrastructure, ranking 19th lowest.
> GCI score: 3.17
> GDP per capita: $583 (11th lowest)
> Debt as a pct. of GDP: 33.2% (51st lowest)
> Individuals using Internet: 4.3% (16th lowest)
> Infant mortality rates: 92.2 per 1,000 live births (5th highest)
Health problems are a very serious concern in Mozambique. The country is among the top 10 in the world in terms of the prevalence of HIV, malaria and tuberculosis. More than 9% of children are expected to die before their first birthdays, while the average life expectancy at birth is just under 50 years of age. To compare, in Switzerland, the most competitive country in the world, less than one-half of 1% of children are expected to die before they turn one, and the life expectancy is 82.2 years old. While Mozambique scores very low in many other areas, it fares slightly better in some. The score of 5.0 for foreign direct investment and technology transfer, while not on par with most highly competitive countries, is higher than for more than most countries.
> GCI score: 3.05
> GDP per capita: $892 (23rd lowest)
> Debt as a pct. of GDP: 32.2% (47th lowest)
> Individuals using Internet: 1.9% (7th lowest)
> Infant mortality rates: 98.9 per 1,000 live births (3rd highest)
Few countries have either a lower quality of legal and administrative framework or lower quality of infrastructure than Chad. Among the problems facing the country are the poor protection of intellectual property, unreliable police services and a low quality electrical supply — all noted by the WEF as significant concerns. Worse yet, none of the 144 countries reviewed by the WEF were rated worse for health and basic education than Chad. The nation has one of the world’s highest incidences of malaria, at 37,881 cases per 100,000 people, as well as the world’s 17th-highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS. The country has one of the world’s lowest life expectancies, at 49.2 years, and highest infant mortality rates — 98.9 deaths per 1,000 live births.
> GCI score: 2.97
> GDP per capita: $1,340 (32nd lowest)
> Debt as a pct. of GDP: 42.5% (66th highest)
> Individuals using Internet: 14.9% (37th lowest)
> Infant mortality rates: 57.3 per 1,000 live births (23rd highest)
Yemen is the lowest-rated country when it comes to innovation, ranking last in company spending on research and development. But it’s hard to drive innovation in a non-technologically-advanced country such as Yemen. Low technological readiness scores were the biggest indicator of a noncompetitive country than all other economic measures and Yemen was no exception, scoring the sixth worst of all 144 countries. A weak educational system is also a problem for the country — it ranks dead last in terms of quality of primary education, quality of math and science education and overall quality of the educational system. The government has not provided the necessary help. Like many uncompetitive countries, Yemen suffers from a dysfunctional public sector. Nowhere is the diversion of public funds to various groups and individuals due to corruption more common. Yemen was also rated to have the third-most wasteful spending government. Respondents to the WEF said the two most problematic factors for doing business are policy instability and corruption.
> GCI score: 2.90
> GDP per capita: $492 (8th lowest)
> Debt as a pct. of GDP: 72.2% (26th highest)
> Individuals using Internet: 1.3% (5th lowest)
> Infant mortality rates: 81.2 per 1,000 live births (10th highest)
Few countries have a poorer infrastructure than Guinea, where the nation’s roads and electrical supply are rated among the lowest quality in the world. Further, the country has a poor institutional environment, with bribes more common than in all but two other countries and auditing standards for businesses among the world’s weakest. Guinea’s economy also faces significant inflation concerns, as Guinea’s CPI rose 21.5% last year — the second highest increase among all 144 countries studied by the WEF. Aside from economic concerns, health issues were also a problem in the country, which had the highest incidence of malaria in the world, at almost 39,710 cases per 100,000 people.
> GCI score: 2.90
> GDP per capita: $738 (18th lowest)
> Debt as a pct. of GDP: 10.6% (13th lowest)
> Individuals using Internet: 8.4% (23rd lowest)
> Infant mortality rates: 70.4 per 1,000 live births (14th highest)
As evidenced by the devastation of the Haiti’s earthquake and the struggle to rebuild the country, Haiti lacks the infrastructure necessary to compete in the global economy. The country’s infrastructure is the weakest in the world, according to the WEF. Furthermore, the country’s second-to-last ranking for institutions, is exacerbated by government problems. The country ranks last in public trust in politicians and second to last in transparency in government policymaking. Improvement in both these fields will be necessary for Haiti to allow it to slowly begin competing on the world stage.
2. Sierra Leone
> GCI score: 2.82
> GDP per capita: $366 (5th lowest)
> Debt as a pct. of GDP: 60% (39th highest)
> Individuals using Internet: 0.3% (the lowest)
> Infant mortality rates: 113.7 per 1,000 live births (the highest)
Access to health services and education is a serious concern for the country. The country has the worst infant mortality rate of all countries, with 113.7 deaths per 1,000 live births. For children dying before the age of five, the rate is nearly 1 in 5, according to the World Health Organization. The country is in the bottom 10 in the percentage of the age-appropriate population enrolled in both secondary and tertiary education. According to the most recent data from the World Bank, only 41% of the population aged 15 and older is literate. While the Internet has become an increasingly important factor in the global economy, less than 1% of the country’s population uses it, the lowest rate of all 144 countries.
> GCI score: 2.78
> GDP per capita: $279 (the lowest)
> Debt as a pct. of GDP: 35.3% (58th highest)
> Individuals using Internet: 1.1% (4th lowest)
> Infant mortality rates: 87.8 per 1,000 live births (7th highest)
The least globally competitive country had problems all around. It was ranked in the bottom five in eight of the 12 major economic measures. The country ranks dead last in technological readiness, a key factor in what separates competitive and noncompetitive countries. Residents blame poor access to financing and corruption as the two most problematic factors for doing business in the country, and based on the WEF’s research it is not hard to see why. The country was ranked last also in the pillar of financial market development, which involves factors such as availability and affordability of financing. Last year, Burundi was ranked the most corrupt in East Africa, according to the nonprofit Transparency International.
Ashley C. Allen, Samuel Weigley and Alexander E. M. Hess