In 1960, the year of Africa, nearly 20 African countries gained independence in rapid succession. Unfortunately, Africa was not economically competitive with the rest of the world over a 50 year period that started about 1961. Indeed, real per capita growth rate in Africa averaged just 1.2 percent from 1961 to 2012, compared to 1.7 for the Americas, 2.0 for Europe and 3.9 percent for Asia Pacific. Things became so bad the 1980s and 1990s were two decades lost to immesirizing growth throughout sub-Saharan Africa, as growth in per capita GDP turned negative at about -0.1 percent, compared to positive growth in other continents. Fortunately, with better macroeconomic policies and rising commodity prices, Africa has rebounded in economic growth, especially over the last decade, surpassing other global regions. Except for the inimitable Asia Pacific, economic growth was strongest in Africa, at around 5 percent compared to other regions. And with an increasing population of Africans in the diaspora with economic gravitas, African generational enterprise is rising. The evidence of this is in the extraordinary amounts in remittances, that Africa has been receiving recently, with Nigeria and Egypt ranking among the top ten recipients of remittances, world-wide. Nigeria received a whopping $21 billion in 2012 alone, to lead Africa, followed by Egypt at $18 billion. Now, not withstanding this apparent progress that has caused people to believe Africa is rising appears to be waning, as the economic growth rate in Sub-Saharan Africa has slowed to 5.1 percent over the past 5 years compared to 6.1 percent over the last 10 years. Already, commodity prices are suffering, especially with crude oil prices dropping precipitously. To maintain balance and speed, leadership across Africa has to be competent and even more focused. In the end, what Africa needs is good governance that can end impunity and promote inclusive economic growth. I am Magnus Kpakol, and that is my view.
Posted: Jan 20th, 2015 @ 04:04:06 AM