Africa Notes: U.S. Military Assistance to Africa - August 1987
August 6, 1987
The most recent report of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency on World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers (April1987) shows that Africa's, exclusive of Egypt's, share of worldwide arms imports rose from 11.7 percent to 13.8 percent between 1975 and 1984.
The average annual growth rate over this period was 5.0 percent, and total imports of arms from 1975 to 1985 exceeded $52.0 billion, with the sub-Saharan region accounting for approximately 41.1 percent of the total. The Soviet Union has been the single largest supplier (primarily to Ethiopia, Libya, Angola, Mozambique, Congo, Benin, Mali, Algeria, and Tanzania), followed by France and Italy.
The magnitude of expenditures on local military establishments has serious implications for the social and economic well-being of many African nations. Ethiopia, for example, allocated between 8.4 and 9.6 percent of its gross national product to the military in the years from 1979 to 1984, and owes the Soviet Union a barter and paper debt of some $4 billion for military assistance over the past decade.