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Africa: Neither Hopeless Nor Rising

[working paper]

Kappel, Robert

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Corporate Editor GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies - Leibniz-Institut für Globale und Regionale Studien
Abstract The Annual Meeting of the African Development Bank will take place in Kigali, Rwanda, from 19 to 23 May 2014. The theme of the meeting is "The Next 50 Years: The Africa We Want." Most of the 49 countries in sub-Saharan Africa have registered positive economic growth in recent years. Gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates as well as export growth rates have been quite high, and the flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) is rising. However, scholarly analyses have also clearly shown which factors are impeding the economic advancement of particular sub-Saharan countries. Above all, it is structural change that has failed to make headway. Economic growth varies greatly from country to country in sub-Saharan Africa. The more fragile states (approximately 25 percent of all African countries) are recording growth rates of less than 4 percent, and only the countries who export natural resources top 6 percent. Large sections of the sub-Saharan population have experienced an improvement in their quality of life over the past ten years; some of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were even reached (school enrollment rate, life expectancy, health care). But the main goal, to decrease the number of people living in poverty by 50 percent, has not been met. A small middle class is developing in sub-Saharan Africa. Africa is often referred to as the "continent of the future" because the share of young people relative to the entire population is quite high. But the continent's youth will have a future only if enough jobs are created to support them.
Keywords Africa South of the Sahara; economic development (on national level); economic growth; commerce; industrialization; structural change; economic policy; poverty; socioeconomic development; Africa
Classification National Economy; Sociology of Developing Countries, Developmental Sociology
Free Keywords social structures
Document language English
Publication Year 2014
City Hamburg
Page/Pages 8 p.
Series GIGA Focus International Edition, 1
ISSN 2196-3940
Status Published Version; not reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works