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Africa Economic Brief - Volume 8 Issue 7 - Transforming Africa's Agriculture through Agro-Industrialization


Economic growth in Africa has been accelerating for the past two decades. The continent enjoyed sustained economic growth registering an annual average growth of more than 5 percent. This episode of rapid economic growth, where four out of ten fastest growing economies in the world in the past ten years were African countries, undoubtedly kindled high hopes for a continent, which had been painted as hopeless and backward just two decades ago. Instead, the recent discourse has been dominated by the “Africa Rising” narrative, with significant shift in the sentiment towards the prospect of prosperous Africa.

This episode of economic expansion was primarily driven by favorable commodity prices, particularly of oil, minerals, and agricultural products. For a continent whose extractive sector constitutes one-third of the GDP and oil exporting countries account for over half of the GDP, this has indeed been a favorable period.

What is more encouraging is that, driven by non-traditional sectors, such as manufacturing and services, growth has also been relatively balanced in many African countries. In addition to the extractive industry and quarrying, agriculture, services, and to some extent manufacturing played significant roles in the buoyant economic performance registered in the past decade and half.

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