The story of Africa since the Millennium is one of astounding growth. A continent-wide GDP of US $600 billion in 2000 had reached US $2.2 trillion in 2012. Seven of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies are in Africa, and it will achieve 6.6% growth in 2013. 'The sleeping giant' is on its way, and the African trajectory continues upward, with a young and dynamic population. Africa is a global dynamo of opportunity, the world’s new growth pole, and the final development and investment frontier. That said, we know that huge challenges remain: pockets of fragility, a lack of basic infrastructure, a disjointed regional economy, and the quest for truly shared and truly sustainable growth.
Yet Africa is open for business, and organizations like the African Development Bank have laid so many of the foundations for trade, growth and investment. It has helped to build the networks of road, rail, water and electricity, to strengthen government institutions and fight corruption, to support education and skills. Development aid is part of the way ahead, especially if it is the precursor to the foreign and domestic private sector money that can, in turn, make the private sector into the engine of growth that will propel Africa further forward. The Bank can leverage US $3 for every public sector dollar it receives, and US $6 for every private sector dollar – this is “smart aid” at work through leveraging and mobilizing finance, as Africa takes hold of its own development destiny.
In this occasional blog, I try and share some of the thoughts along the journey – my own, the Bank’s, the continent’s.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the articles presented in this blog are those of the individual authors and should not be attributed to the African Development Bank (AfDB).