Something extraordinary is happening in Africa. In the wake of enhanced political stability and reduced war in many countries, it is clear that a vibrant spirit of entrepreneurship is kicking in with vigor.
Between 2001 and 2010, six of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies were in Africa and the International Monetary Fund predicted that between 2011 and 2015, African countries will hold 7 of the top 10 spots. Many people think this growth is fueled purely by a commodity boom – shipping raw materials to the east and elsewhere.
Interestingly enough, this accounts for only one third of the growth; the rest can be put down to genuine value creation, fueled by the spirit of entrepreneurship very much alive on the continent. Many also argue that its easy to cite high growth figures off a low base. More information
Nevertheless, the growth levels being seen were certainly out of the ranges of prediction of many social and economic commentators even a decade ago.
At the same time, African populations are growing rapidly. It is expected that by 2040, the total African population will be the largest in the world, surpassing both China and India, further exacerbating these problems. Jobs are not keeping pace with population growth rates and issues of unemployment acutely affect the growing ‘youth bulge’ across the continent, which has implications for political stability across the continent, as has recently been witnessed by many of the northern Arab States.
The real solution for Africa is being driven every day by African people themselves – human creativity and hard work, the spirit of entrepreneurship and the creation of small businesses in their millions – leading to job creation, enhanced socio-economic stability, and the consequent benefits of greater purchasing power, which buys quality education and healthcare. In this way, millions have come from poverty into the middle class. Further, with the growing consumer classes, population growth rates-if harnessed correctly-will prove to be a major demographic dividend.
Culled from This is Africa (A Global Perspective)
Edited by Anthony Obiako, Founder & CEO , Reliable Investments LLC