Africa’s top economists at the World Bank have given a damning verdict of the continent’s economy and growth over the past ten years. Despite progress made in various areas, including in the financial and banking sector, technology and elsewhere, the verdict was clear – There are more poor people in Africa now than there were ten years ago, and the same problems linked to commodity price changes remain, while many African countries are now at a more severe risk of debt distress, even as inequality continues to expand.
if nothing is done now and fast, in the next decade, Africa will have more poorer people than the rest of the world, they said, echoing similar warnings by the World bank President David Malpass during last year’s World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings in Washington DC.
The fresh assessment of the African economy in the past 10 years was given in a podcast hosted by Albert Zeufack, Chief Economist for the Africa Region at the World Bank, with colleagues Shanta Devarajan, Punam Chuhan-Pole, and Cesar Calderon, contributing as guests.
The economists looked back from when the world was fighting its way out of a global financial crisis ten years go to how Sub-Saharan Africa quickly recovered from that global crisis. From when Africa was again hit by the commodity crisis that followed in the middle of the decade with oil prices crashing, leaving Nigeria, Angola and others vulnerable, to when things began to stabilize.
Ten years from now, the economists said they would love read positive headlines with Africa being described as leader of the global coalition on climate change. In addition, they would love to see an Africa where poverty is greatly reduced or eliminated by 2030 or talks about Africa being the factory of 21st century.