Economy of Central Africa

ANGOLA

Angola did not become independent until 1975, but civil war broke out immediately and lasted until 2002. The country has enormous natural resources. There are three central trade unions, but it is difficult to run trade unions in present-day Angola.

Angola

Country Facts

State condition: Republic

Surface: 1 246 700 km²

Capital: Luanda

Language: Portuguese official language

Labor market and economy:

Angola has very great natural resources in the form of diamonds and oil. Oil extraction and related activities account for 50 percent of GDP, 70 percent of central government revenue and 90 percent of exports, which go mainly to China.

The civil war totally destroyed the country’s infrastructure and landmines are still a major problem. Angola has received huge credits from China, approximately SEK 170 billion, for reconstruction. After the parties made peace in 2002, a period began in which the economy was one of the fastest growing in the world until the oil crisis in 2014, when the fall in oil prices caused a slowdown in the growth rate. In 2009, the country left the group of least developed countries. The good economic growth, however, mostly benefited a small part of the population and was not noticed among the country’s majority.

Just over 80 percent of the population works in agriculture, which thanks to a good climate and soil has good conditions. However, many are forced to have side jobs in the informal sector – often street sales – in order to support themselves.

Unemployment is high and 20-25 percent of the working-age population is estimated to be unemployed.

CAMEROON

According to COUNTRYAAH, Cameroon has long been a one-party state. The development towards democracy has been slow. The country has a relatively well-developed industry. Violations of trade union rights are common.

Cameroon

Country Facts

State condition: Republic

Surface: 475 442 km²

Capital: Yaounde

Language: French and English are official languages

Labor market and economy:

Cameroon has many natural resources, where oil accounts for 40 percent of export revenues. Timber, alauminum, agriculture and mining are other industries in Cameroon’s relatively versed economy. Despite this, unemployment is very high and most people work in the informal sector.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

The Central African Republic gained its independence from France in 1960. The country is potentially rich, but was for a long time a harsh dictatorship, has been marked by misrule and has been involved in many conflicts with neighboring countries. The country is on the brink of civil war and is now one of the poorest countries on earth. There are two central trade union organizations, but the trade union movement is weak.

Central African Republic

Country Facts

State condition: Republic

Surface: 622 984 km²

Capital: Bangui

Language: French and Sango are official languages

Labor market and economy:

According to ITYPEUSA, the Central African Republic is one of the poorest countries on earth and has been troubled for many years. The central government has not had control over the whole country. The security situation is still problematic today and the supply situation in areas where there is conflict is still critical, even though the situation has improved somewhat in recent years.

The most important industry is agriculture. Cotton, timber and diamonds account for the largest export revenues. The state subsidizes agriculture to expand the arable land. At present, only a small part of the arable land is used.

More than half of the population conducts small-scale subsistence farming and completes temporary jobs in the informal sector. The country almost completely lacks a modern labor market. The permanent jobs that exist are mostly in government administration but also in the mining industry and industry.

CHAD

Chad became independent from France in 1960. Political unrest with several military coups has characterized the country, which despite the presence of oil and several minerals is one of the poorest in the world. The unions have been able to work relatively freely, but the situation has deteriorated in recent years.

Chad

Country Facts

State condition: Republic, unitary state

Surface: 1 284 000 km²

Capital: N’Djamena

Language: French and Arabic official languages

Labor market and economy:

The country’s geographical location, lack of infrastructure and political unrest hamper economic development. The economy is dominated by agriculture and animal husbandry, where almost 75 percent of the population gets their livelihood. Cotton is an important export commodity. However, Chad is often hit by drought and grasshopper invasion. Only about 5 percent work in industry, which only accounts for a few percent of GDP. A large proportion work in the informal sector.

Chad is one of the poorest countries in the world. The country has large oil reserves and the government has been granted loans by the World Bank to prospect for the oil, but mismanaged the economy. Despite a delayed expansion, oil revenues account for 60 percent of Chad’s export earnings.

Together with Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Mali and Niger, Chad is part of the G5 Sahel Economic Cooperation Organization, which works to increase security and economic development in the Sahel region.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

The Belgian Congo was liberated on July 1, 1960. After the overthrow of dictator Mobutu in 1997, the country has been ravaged by civil war. The country has enormous natural resources. The trade union movement is very fragmented. Three organizations are affiliated with the world trade union ITUC and trade union activities are conducted despite the chaotic situation in the country.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Country Facts

State condition: Republic

Surface: 2 344 885 km²

Capital: Kinshasa,

Language: French is the official language, four national languages: Swahili, Tshiluba, Lingala and Kikongo

Labor market and economy:

The country has enormous natural resources, including more than half of the cobalt in mobile phone batteries comes from Congo. The civil war and neglect have ravaged the economy. However, some improvement has taken place in recent years. The government is trying to gain better control of the mining industry, which is often controlled by European, Chinese or American companies.

A large part of the population lives on small-scale agriculture for self-sufficiency, street sales. In the eastern part of the country in particular, many people live in areas controlled by various militia groups. Illegal mining and organized child labor are also common there. Unemployment is high.