Africa: Second Fastest-Growing Region in the World

Sub-Saharan Africa is the second fastest-growing region of the world today, trailing only developing Asia.  This is remarkable compared to the current complicated state of the global economy, with Europe still struggling and the United States slowly on the mend. In 2012, Sub-Saharan Africa maintained solid growth, with output growth at 5 percent on average. […]

Africa and the Great Recession: Changing Times

In previous global downturns, sub-Saharan Africa has usually been badly affected—but not this time around. The world economy has experienced much dislocation since the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008. Output levels in many advanced economies still remain below pre-crisis levels, while unemployment levels have surged; growth in emerging market economies has slowed, […]

Africa and the Great Recession: Changing Times

In previous global downturns, sub-Saharan Africa has usually been badly affected—but not this time around. The world economy has experienced much dislocation since the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008. Output levels in many advanced economies still remain below pre-crisis levels, while unemployment levels have surged; growth in emerging market economies has slowed, […]

Africa’s New Janus-Like Trade Posture

It wasn’t all that long ago when virtually all of sub-Saharan Africa’s exports were destined for Europe and North America. But the winds of Africa’s trade have shifted over the past decade. There has been a massive reorientation towards other developing countries, in particular China and India. Like Janus, the Roman god, Africa’s trade is […]

Shared Frustrations: How to Make Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa More Inclusive

Suddenly it’s the thing everyone is talking about. Income inequality. Not just between countries, but inequality within countries. In North Africa and the Middle East, jobless youth sparked the Arab Spring. In the United States, the growing gap between rich and poor is the “meta concern” of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Worldwide, frustrations appear […]

Beyond Growth: The Importance of Inclusion

Economists care about growth.  Governments care about what it can achieve:  more jobs and more income for more people.  An increasing number of African countries have been growing robustly for more than a decade. But while growth is a necessary condition for poverty reduction and employment creation, is it also sufficient? When growth first takes […]

Capital Flows to the Final Frontier

Sub-Saharan Africa’s “frontier markets”—the likes of Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, and Zambia—were seemingly the destination of choice for an increasing amount of capital flows before the global financial crisis. Improving economic prospects in these countries was a big factor, but frankly, so too was a global economy awash with liquidity. Then the crisis hit. And capital—particularly […]