The world’s 47 Least Developed Countries continue to face major challenges in achieving the accelerated economic and social development program agreed to at the Istanbul Conference in May 2011 for the decade ending in 2020.
Since 2012 their economic growth has slowed to half the targeted rate of at least 7 per cent per annum recommended by the Istanbul Program. The main reason has been the sharp decline in the export prices of commodities on which African LDCs are heavily dependent.
The LDCs have also made limited progress towards achieving positive structural transformation. The share of the agricultural sector in their GDP declined gradually, from 27.1 per cent in 2001-2010 to 25.2 per cent in 2011, mainly as a result of trends in Asian members of the group.
The share of manufacturing in GDP has stagnated around 11.5 per cent. The share of the mining sector in GDP has expanded from 14.0 per cent in 2001-2010 to 16.3 per cent in 2011. Unfortunately, the LDCs that rely on extractive sector revenues (oil, gas and minerals) have been hit hard by high social inequality, with over 64 per cent of the population engaged in agriculture in 2012.
A communique issued by the Ministerial Meeting of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in New York on 26 September 2018 drew attention to their bleak economic situation:
Crowd-Funding a Way Out
The basic problem LDCs face is that they do not have the tax base to support development and donor countries cannot provide adequate support because it must be drawn from their own taxpayers. Crowd-funding offers a way out of this situation not only because it can provide adequate funding but because it will generate growth in doing so.
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