Africa and Arab Gulf states : divergent development paths and prospects for convergence
In spite of the similarities between Sub-Saharan Africa and the Arab Gulf region (Gulf Cooperation Council states), development policies implemented in these two regions of the world have produced markedly different and even divergent outcomes. While Gulf Cooperation Council states have drawn on hydrocarbon revenues to dramatically transform their economic landscape, Sub-Saharan African countries have exhibited abysmal economic and social outcomes. The remarkable increase in personal income and large current account surpluses in Arab Gulf states is in sharp contrast with widespread poverty and recurrent balance of payments crises in Sub-Saharan Africa. This paper reviews the possible causes of these divergent development paths and discusses the prospects for economic convergence in the new globalization landscape of growing trade ties between the two regions. In particular, it shows that development models underpinned by institutional continuity and intergenerational accountability could enhance long-run growth in Sub-Saharan Africa and income convergence between the two regions.
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