AfDB: Championing inclusive growth across Africa. A blog by the former Chief Economist and Vice-President
For the past decade, Africa has had strong growth. A new economic momentum has been created. The continent weathered the financial crisis and has bounced back. But headline economic growth is not enough. Deliberate policies to reduce inequalities and promote inclusion are now needed more than ever before. It is time to focus on what people want: decent work, a living wage, access to basic service, more democracy and accountable governments. Africa and its people aim to be a pole of growth in the decades ahead. Read more
The African economy has experienced a notable trend break in recent years – the “average” story is now no longer that of abject poverty and escalating conflict, but rather of how best to attract investment, including in new technologies, to buttress growth and sustain and share its benefits with the population. Still, being in this situation is relatively new for Africa.
African economies have sustained unprecedented rates of growth in the past decade. This growth was mainly driven by exports of natural resources and commodities, improved macroeconomic management, a growing middle class, and increased domestic demand fuelled by consumption and increased political stability. However, Africa’s growth has not been inclusive, as poverty rates and inequalities remain high.
For over 30 years (1980-2009), close to US $1.4 trillion were drained out of Africa. Most of those capital flights were illegal in nature and were due to corruption, kickbacks, tax evasion, criminal activities, transactions of certain contraband goods, and other illicit business activities across borders.
Africa needs accelerated structural transformation in order to take the bulk of its population out of poverty. This requires deeper investment in factors leading to growth-enhancing structural change. African countries need to diversify and expand the sources of economic growth while creating opportunities for more inclusiveness.
The mining industry worldwide is undergoing unprecedented changes, including high volatility of commodity prices and rising exploration costs. Africa, which produces more than 60 metal and mineral products, has a huge potential with respect to mineral reserves exploration and production.