“African Economic Growth: The Twilight of the Resource Curse?”
The Economist, January 10-16, 2015, p.41
“For decades commodity prices have shaped Africa’s economic growth. The continent is home to a third of the planet’s mineral reserves, a tenth of the oil and it produces two-thirds of the diamonds. Little wonder then that, as a rule, when prices for natural resources and export crops have been high, growth has been good; when they have dipped, so has the continent’s economy. … Since last year the price of oil has fallen by half and many metals such as copper and iron ore have also dropped sharply. With commodity prices plunging, will the usual pattern repeat itself? … [E]conomic growth is starting to come from other places. Manufacturing output in the continent is expanding as quickly as the rest of the economy. Growth is even faster in services, which expanded at an average rate of 2.6% per person across Africa between 1996 and 2011. Tourism, in particular, has boomed: the number of foreign visitors doubled and receipts tripled between 2000 and 2012. … Despite falling commodity prices, the outlook also seems favourable. Wonks at the World Bank reckon that Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy will expand by about 5% this year. Telecommunications, transportation and finance are all expected to spur economic growth. … With better education systems, investment in infrastructure and sensible regulatory reforms, the continent could completely break the spell that has held it back so often in the past.”
Quickie Analysis: An interesting and optimistic article on Africa’s continued economic growth.