Tracking Africa’s Progress in Figures

African economies have sustained unprecedented rates of growth, driven mainly by strong domestic demand, improved macroeconomic management, a growing middle class, and increased political stability. As the continent continues to evolve, the African Development Bank’s Tracking Africa’s Progress in Figures publication looks at the key megatrends of the last few decades that will shape Africa’s future.

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Human Development

  • By 2050, the African population is forecast to rise to at least 2.4 billion and will continue to grow to 4.2 billion, four times its current size in the next 100 years.
  • By 2030 urban populations will increase by an additional 350 million people.
  • Average child and infant mortality will reduce from 93 per 1,000 live births in 2015 to 32 per 1,000 live births by 2060.
  • Africa has made good progress toward achieving universal primary education. More needs to be done to improve primary completion rates, the quality of education, and secondary and tertiary enrollments.

Economic Performance, Inclusiveness, and Structural Transformation

  • Since 2005, 20 countries in Africa are among the top 50 most-improved world economies in business regulatory efficiency. Among these economies, Rwanda improved the most over the past 7 years.
  • The proportion of people living in poverty (below the threshold of $1.25 per day) has fallen from over 50% in 1981 to less than 45% in 2012 and is projected to decline to 41.2% in 2015.

Regional Integration, Trade, and Investment

  • In recent years, Africa has made great strides in developing its private sector; since 2000, foreign direct investment has increased fivefold, to $50 billion last year, nearly a sixth of which went to top recipient Nigeria.
  • While developed countries still dominate African trade, recent trends indicate that developing economic regions are driving the growth in Africa trade and will continue to do so over the next 50 years.