Friday, May 11, 2012

Booming Africa 2

Following on from the earlier blog Booming Africa we read that the Africa Progress Panel found that African countries were growing consistently faster than almost any other region, with booming exports and more foreign investment. Ghana was the fastest growing economy in the world in 2011 and Ethiopia expanded more quickly than China in the five years to 2009.

 But it warned that there was a contrast between a growing yet still relatively small middle class and the Africans left behind. Although seven out of 10 people in the region live in countries that have averaged growth of more than 4% a year for the past decade, Annan's study found that almost half of Africans were still living on incomes below the internationally accepted poverty benchmark of $1.25 a day. The "trickle-down" pattern of economic growth was leaving too many people in destitution.

 "The deep, persistent and enduring inequalities in evidence across Africa have consequences," the report said. "They weaken the bonds of trust and solidarity that hold societies together. Over the long run, they will undermine economic growth, productivity and the development of markets."

Former UN secretary general Kofi Annan added: "It cannot be said often enough, that overall progress remains too slow and too uneven; that too many Africans remain caught in downward spirals of poverty, insecurity and marginalisation; that too few people benefit from the continent's growth trend and rising geo-strategic importance; that too much of Africa's enormous resource wealth remains in the hands of narrow elites and, increasingly, foreign investors without being turned into tangible benefits for its people."

1 comment:

ajohnstone said...

Seven out of 10 people in sub-Saharan Africa live in national economies that have averaged 4% growth during the past decade.

sub-Saharan Africa's share of the world's poor—those earning less than $1.25 per day—actually increased to 28 percent in 2008 from 21 percent in 1999, the panel reported.

Africa's middle-class, those earning $10 to $100 a day, accounts for only 2% of the global middle-class, despite its population of more than 850 million people.

"If our youth do not have jobs, then we are sitting all sitting on a keg of gunpowder," said former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo. He warned that the Arab Spring in the Middle East could be followed by an "African Winter" of mass discontent if governments don't reform and liberalize their economies.

35 percent of Africa's children are stunted, or short for their age