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Economic development in tropical Africa from a geographical perspective: a comparative study of African economies

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Tropical Africa is often seen to have problem economies that are very much alike and suffer from the same development problems. This view is questioned in exploratory analyses of levels of wealth, spatial productivity, the structure of the economy and aspects of the openness of economies and the way they have changed between 1965 and 1995. The analyses reveal differences between economies in both degree and kind. Change to economies was not unidirectional so that they became more disparate and differentiated. The exploratory analyses were extended using factor analysis as a diagnostic tool on a 19‐variable by 25 country data set for 1985, 1990 and 1995. This confirmed the findings of the exploratory analyses and revealed changes in the structure of the factors reflecting development in the period. The results are discussed in the context of the literature in a search for explanation and policy formulation.
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Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: Division of Geography, School of Environment and Life Sciences, University of Salford, Salford M5 4WT

Publication date: 2001-06-01

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