The past decade of unparalleled growth has changed perceptions about Africa for the better. Seven of the world’s ten fastest growing economies are in Africa today, poverty has been falling since the start of the millennium, and a middle class is fueling growth in domestic consumer demand. With new investments and a growing economy, Africa clearly has an opportunity over the next decade to become a prosperous continent that creates more employment for all.
Private Sector Development
- Assistance to the private sector goes beyond the provision of incentives, and government is looking at wider interventions to lower the cost of doing business. Improvements are being made to economic infrastructure such as ports, roads, and electricity generation to cater for the needs of business.
- Over the last year, 32 African countries implemented 71 economic reforms making it easier to do business.
- 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.
- More than 400,000 new companies were registered last year.
- The future of African economic growth - and the futures of millio ns of Africans and thousands of African communities - is closely tied to the private sector.
- Access to financing, inefficient government bureaucracy, and corruption remain biggest concerns for the private sector.
Poverty Reduction and the Emergence of the Middle Class People in Cities
- Since 2005, a net 8 million people have moved out of poverty.
- 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.
- Countries with relatively high rates of poverty reduction were Burkina Faso, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, and Uganda. However, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, and Zimbabwe recorded increases in poverty levels.
A major policy challenge for Africa today is how to broaden access to economic opportunities for its expanding population, including the most vulnerable groups. Africa requires structural transformation to propel it towards inclusive growth.