Africa's flawed growth story

From Emergent Africa Tue Jan 15 2013, 11:00:00

In Africa Confidential:

As Western bankers and traders cheer higher growth rates, Africa's economists sound alarms about the lack of investment in manufacturing and new jobs

Celebrating Africa's impressive growth rates over the past decade has become a growth industry of its own. Africa's economies have been outpacing Eastern Europe, the Middle East and South America. Seven out of the ten fastest-growing economies in the world will be in Africa, according to the International Monetary Fund. Its sister organisation, the World Bank, argues that Africa could be on the brink of an economic take-off similar to China's in the 1980s. It adds that governments have slashed budget deficits and brought down inflation to single figures, duly encouraged, of course by the IMF and World Bank.

Joining in the commendation are the banks: the United States' Merrill Lynch calls Africa the 'final frontier' where 'opportunities abound'. Russia's Renaissance Capital, which has invested heavily in Nigeria, last year published a tome explaining how 'the bottom billion has become the fastest billion'. Two international news magazines chimed in with similar collections of upbeat economic data and used the same headline: 'Africa Rising'. But is it really?More here

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