The economic outlook for 2013 was good, with provisional growth of 6.7% , compared with 8.0% in 2012. Growth will remain in the 6-8% range thanks to the vitality of the primary and tertiary sectors, which are the driving forces of the economy. The primary sector is the cornerstone of Burkina Faso’s economy, driven by food crops (11.0% of GDP), cash crops (3.5% of GDP) and livestock (11.3% of GDP). These three sub-sectors influence the secondary and tertiary sectors. The primary sector’s strong vulnerability to climatic vagaries makes the pillars of Burkina Faso’s economy fragile. Gold production – the main pillar of the secondary sector – experienced a sharp slowdown in 2012, with negative growth of 0.7% compared with strong growth of 39.4% in 2011. This downturn was caused by delays in opening the Bissa Gold mine. Growth should pick up again in 2013, with production expected to increase by at least 10.4%. Inflationary pressures will be contained at 2.2% in 2013 (down from 3.6% in 2012), and therefore below the convergence of the Economic and Monetary Union of West Africa (UEMOA).
Burkina Faso is involved in an economic-growth acceleration programme. It intends to implement a new growth model based around the growth poles, including the Bagré pole, the first of its kind. The aim is to ensure that natural resources are exploited efficiently, especially in the agricultural sector, by growing the value chain of certain promising sectors (livestock goods, fruit and vegetables, shea butter, sesame) through agribusiness to reduce the country’s dependence on gold and cotton. To enhance its competitiveness and promote intra-regional trade, Burkina Faso is also developing infrastructure to integrate roads, energy and information and communication technologies (ICTs).
The political sphere in 2012 was marked by simultaneous municipal and general elections in December. The general election brought about a new distribution of roles between the opposition and coalition led by the President, which took a majority of seats (70 out of 127). However, it is a slim majority, which prevents the coalition from unilaterally removing the constitutional restriction (particularly Article 37) limiting the president to two terms of office. Political observers believe this constitutional matter will remain a major concern for the country’s short- and medium-term stability. In the midst of this, government measures taken in 2011 to tackle the social crisis have had mixed results. The Mali crisis presents a new threat that could damage social stability. The government is faced with three main political and economic challenges: rapidly resolving the Mali crisis, which could affect budgetary decisions, resulting in greater spending on security and defence (and consequently lower spending on other items); improving the functioning of institutions, especially the judicial system; and implementing good governance.
( Courtesy Government of Burkina Faso & African Economic Outlook……Source……Our Freelance Economic Contributor in Lagos & New Africa Business News )