Saturday, December 29, 2012

Angola on Track to Leave List of Least Developed Countries

The Committee for Development Policy of the Social Council of the United Nations (UNCTAD) announced in September that Angola became a candidate for the graduation process of the Group of Least Developed Countries (LDCs), on a list that will be approved in 2015.
Angola was recommended by the UNCTAD to work to get out of the LDCs, taking into account the advances in macro-economic and social achievements.

Least developed country (LDC) is the name given to a country which, according to the United Nations,  exhibits the lowest indicators of socioeconomic development, with the lowest Human Development Index ratings of all the countries in the world. The concept of LDCs originated in the late 1960s and the first group of LDCs was listed by the UN in November 1971. A country is classified as a Least Developed Country if it meets three criteria:
  • Poverty (three-year average GNP per capita of less than US $905, which must exceed $1,086 to leave the list)
  • Human resource weakness HCI ( based on indicators of nutrition, health, education and adult literacy) and
  • Economic vulnerability IVE (based on instability of agricultural production, instability of exports of goods and services, economic importance of non-traditional activities, merchandise export concentration, handicap of economic smallness, and the percentage of population displaced by natural disasters).

For the countries classified with this distinction, potential benefits fall into four main areas: (a) preferential market access, (b) special treatment regarding World Trade Organization-related obligations, (c) official development assistance and other forms of developmental financing, and (d) technical cooperation and other forms of assistance. The majority of LDCs are in Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to the UN rules, the LDCs must meet two of the three criteria in the upper limits established for inclusion, or having a high level of GNP per capita which is twice that of the value stipulated for inclusion.  Angola's GNP is sufficient for exclusion for the list, even though the country has not reached the required values in any of the other criteria, considering that following the end of the war in 2002 the Angolan GDP grew at an average of 12%.

In the last three decades, only three countries left the group of LDCs, namely Botswana, Cape Verde and Maldives.  (Angola Njango, UNCTAD, wikipedia)

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