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Economic branches of the West African Countries


Basic industries of the West African countries are agriculture (its basic role is providing local population by food, and export) and mining industry, which, mainly, provides currency revenue, making main part of their export.

In agriculture in all these states large attention is spared to breeding of grain-growing, fruits and vegetables, and also to the stock-raising and fishing, but between them there are some differences in specialization on the certain types of crops. So, a prevailing crop in Benin and Burkina Faso is a cotton, in Gambia, Niger and Senegal – peanuts, in Gambia and Senegal – fishing plays a considerable role in the economy, in Ghana – cacao, in Guinea-Bissau - cashew nuts, in Cape Verde – corn, in Cote d'Ivoire – coffee, cacao, palm-oil, hevea for the rubber production, in Liberia – a hevea for the rubber production, in Mali – a cotton and peanuts, in Togo – cotton, coffee and cacao.

The governments of the West African countries pay special attention to the mining industry because precisely this sector of economy mainly fills up their currency supplies. Mining is the basic object for foreign investments and with this sector mostly connected infrastructure development.

It is necessary to mark that if agriculture is developed in all West African countries, then mining - not in all of them, and not on the same level. The reason for this is different volume of mineral resources and disparity of indexes of economic development. Among them in Benin, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, and partly in Cote d'Ivoire, Senegal and Togo leading industry is agriculture, and mining plays not such considerable role as in other - Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone.

As well as the agriculture the mining industry in West African countries differs by specialization: in Ghana this is gold and manganese, in Guinea - bauxites, in Mauritania and Liberia – an iron-stone, in Mali – gold, in Niger – uranium, in Nigeria – oil, in Sierra Leone - diamonds.

Based on the necessities of local population, necessity of infrastructure development and taking into account existing resources – natural, labour and capital – the governments of the West Africa countries, using tax and custom exemptions, stimulate the inflow of foreign investments to the next industries:
- different manufacturing: processing of mineral resources, furniture production, cotton processing, textile, processing of food raw material and others;
- exploration and exploitation of mineral deposits;
- irrigational systems;
- water providing systems and electricity;
- telecommunications;
- financial services;
- transportation;
- logistics;
- building;
- tourism;
- health care;
- education.