The Growth of the African Economy: Research and Quotes

by Nick Harriss, Founder and Chairman


The growth of the African economy is illustrated in the following research and quotes:


Nkosana MoyoFounder and Executive ChairMandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS) Johannesburg: 

“Africa’s remarkable economic growth during the past decade was based on sustainable drivers of performance, including a transformation in leadership and abundant natural resources.

The continent’s GDP growth is estimated to be approximately 4.5% in 2009–2010 and about 5.2% in 2011. Given the weak growth rates in the rest of the global economy, these numbers cannot be ignored

The world is coming to Africa because there are identifiable benefits, including Africa’s bountiful resources. Africa accounts for about 30% of the world’s solid mineral reserves, hence Africa’s trade with China. The world also has interest in Africa’s hydrocarbons. Africa accounts for 10% of the world’s oil reserves and 8% of the world’s gas reserves. These reserves are growing. Additional reserves are being discovered in such places as Tanzania, Mozambique, Kenya, Uganda, and Ghana.

There are also potential opportunities in renewable energies: solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal. Renewable energies are an opportunity space yet to be exploited. Finally, the African market comprises 15% of the world’s population, 1 billion people, and is growing; the majority of these people are young. A market of this size cannot be ignored.”


Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities:Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation – United Nations Economic Commision for Africa

“Given its remarkable growth since 2000, the continent has been hailed as the next frontier for opportunity and a potential global growth pole.

Africa’s medium- term growth prospects remain strong, too, at for example 4.8 per cent in 2013 and 5.1 per cent in 2014.

Africa has about 12 per cent of the world’s oil reserves, 42 per cent of its gold, 80–90 per cent of chromium and platinum group metals, and 60 per cent of arable land in addition to vast timber resources.”


The World Bank

Economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) continues to rise from 4.7 percent in 2013 to a forecasted 5.2 percent in 2014. This performance is boosted by rising investment in natural resources and infrastructure,

Capital flows to Sub-Saharan Africa continued to rise, reaching an estimated 5.3 percent of regional GDP in 2013, significantly above the developing-country average of 3.9 percent. Net foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to the region grew 16 percent to a near-record $43 billion in 2013, boosted by new oil and gas discoveries in many countries including Angola, Mozambique, and Tanzania.

Tourism also grew notably in 2013, helping to support the balance of payments of many countries in the region. According to the UN World Tourism Organization, international tourist arrivals in Sub-Saharan Africa grew by 5.2 percent in 2013, reaching a record 36 million, up from 34 million in 2012, contributing to government revenue, private incomes, and jobs.


African Economic Outlook

West Africa is expected to continue its rapid growth with rates of 6.7% in 2013 and 7.4% in 2014. It has become the fastest growing region of the continent



Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa should significantly outpace the global average over the next three years, according to the World Bank.

Foreign direct investment is forecast to reach record levels in the coming years, hitting $54bn (£35.3bn)a year by 2015, the Bank said.

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