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African Development Report 2015 - Growth, Poverty and Inequality Nexus: Overcoming Barriers to Sustainable Development


In the four decades preceding the new millennium, economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) was largely stagnant. In real terms, GDP per capita for the region was just 7 percent higher in 2000 than it had been in 1960. The stylized fact of ‘chronic growth failure’ (Collier and Gunning, 1999) was the defining feature of most African economies. From the early years of this century, this picture began to change. Africa’s growth performance underwent a dramatic improvement, with per capita annual GDP growth surging from close to zero to almost 3 percent over a 15-year period. ‘African Renaissance’ became the headline touted around the world. A number of factors contributed to this growth acceleration: A spike in commodity prices; FDI inflows; improvements in the quality of governance and institutions; debt relief and higher aid inflows; more favourable conditions for agriculture; and, the growing weight of Africa’s middle class.

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