By Craig Baker and Andy Ratcliffe
The arguments over whether South Africa should still receive aid from Britain, following Justine Greening’s announcement that there would be no new DFID projects in South Africa, show how the global debate about the continent is shifting.
Africa was once viewed as a region that had stalled, making little or no progress. Now, the world is starting to notice the pace of economic change. Headlines on the theme of ‘Africa rising‘ are appearing more and more in international newspapers. But many doubt that this economic growth is actually improving living standards for the average African citizens. Continue reading »
By Tony Elumelu
Africa’s growth continues to make headlines at home and abroad. But while the continent has made impressive gains at a macro level, those gains have been slow in creating jobs and wealth at a local level.
More needs to be done, and soon, if Africa’s growth is to be sustained, and Africa is to reach its true economic potential. Talk of a demographic dividend, is in reality a wake up call for politicians and the private sector, bringing with it considerable social, economic and environmental challenges. Continue reading »
By Bright B Simons of IMANI Ghana
There are two prevailing and conflicting views of progress in Africa: the ‘incrementalists’ and the ‘cyclicalists’. The incrementalists say Africa is ‘catching up’; the cyclicalists say it is ‘not catching up fast enough’ because it is locked in a ‘two steps forward one step backward’ rhythm.
My opinion is that both views are muddled. Continue reading »
By Kandeh K Yumkella of UNIDO
When I look at the future of my continent, three words come to mind: hope, opportunity and responsibility.
Hope, because there is positive change happening throughout Africa. Opportunity, because of the commodity boom. Responsibility, because we – the African people and our leaders – still need to create 10m jobs a year for our young people, and lift out of poverty the over 50 per cent of Africans who still live below $2 per day. Continue reading »
Africa’s fast-growing personal care and beauty markets are prompting ambitious innovation plans from two of the sector’s giants, Unilever and L’Oreal, both looking to capture the expanding middle classes.
But you can’t just take all your western or Asian products and sell them in Africa – new, tailored ranges are needed. Continue reading »
GDP growth is thought to be correlated to everything from conflict risk to whiskey consumption. And the current slew of positive stories about Africa are driven, in part, by the impressive GDP statistics posted by countries across the continent.
But these numbers are poor estimations of economic development, says Morten Jerven at Simon Fraser University. His argument is not that GDP does not say much about happiness, equality, environmental sustainability. It’s a more technical point: many figures are, well, just wrong. African GDP might actually be growing faster than we think. Continue reading »