Economic Report on Africa 2012: Unleashing Africa?s Potential as a Pole of Global Growth
UNECA, AUC, 2012
by: Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
The first decade of the twenty-first century has been characterized as the ?decade of Africa?s economic and political renewal?. The continent achieved remarkable progress in economic growth while at the same time expanding the scope for democratic governance in a large number of countries. Growth in Africa averaged more than 5 per cent a year, and the pattern of growth has been generally consistent. A handful of African countries have registered annual growth rates of 7?11 per cent. More important, the continent demonstrated its resilience through its quick and robust recovery from the shocks of the global economic and financial crisis. The year 2011 was no exception, as growth accelerated in most countries despite the political turmoil in North Africa and continued global economic fragility.
The dynamism of African economies has captured the imagination of the world. Having been written off as ?the hopeless continent? for decades, Africa is now being courted by powerful economic actors with a keen interest in its natural resources and untapped market. While the new narrative of ?a rising Africa? is warmly welcomed, it must be made clear at the outset that the continent?s new fortunes are not the outcome of good luck; they are the result of years of hard work and better macroeconomic management. Indeed, the economic revival of the continent is attributed to improved economic and political governance, reduction in armed conflicts, increasing foreign capital inflows (especially direct investment) and improvements in the business climate?as well as rising commodity prices.