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Nouriel Roubini Speaks at NYFA 2013: Is Africa’s Robust Growth Sustainable?

Over 600 business and political leaders gathered recently in Libreville, Gabon, to debate and help shape Africa’s road map. RGE Chairman Nouriel Roubini shared his perspective on what the future holds for this region and provided policy guidance.

As attendees looked at whether the increasingly robust economic growth in Africa is sustainable, Roubini talked about growth determinants, stressing the progress that the region has made and problems that remain:

“I would say that the point that Larry Summers made this morning about what are the determinants of long-term economic growth are important and valid. He spoke about the need for peace and no civil war; the need for education; the need for a fair use of natural resources; about having good governance; about using technology… And I would add as a sixth factor that determines long-term economic growth the demographic dividend; high population growth may be also beneficial. Now in all of these dimensions there 54 countries of Africa, probably now 55 with South Sudan, have made significant improvement compared to what was the situation two or three decades ago. So if you look at it in relative terms historically, certainly everything has improved. And that is why economic growth is stronger. But if you are thinking about it absolutely, what is happening across these dimensions thing are not that simple.”

In the panel discussion on black swans, Roubini confessed optimism over the region and recent changes, but said downside risks remain, noting a key risk scenario:

“A potentially a toxic nexus between on one side global climate change effects on Africa, and unfair use of natural resources that is occurring in this part of the world; and the interaction between these two things leading to social and political instability.”

Watch Roubini’s address and panel discussion below.

One Response to “Nouriel Roubini Speaks at NYFA 2013: Is Africa’s Robust Growth Sustainable?”

MoralScientistJuly 17th, 2013 at 11:07 pm

The potential for economic instability arising from the unfair use of natural resources, leading to conflicts, is large and frightening (by the way, I am in a less pessimistic mind-frame than Roubini, if for no other reason than that I count only 54 countries after South Sudan's secession, but Roubini may have counted the next breakup of a country on the African Continent). However, the worst possible course to avoid that disastrous course is to have outside intervention, or even to maitain the current level of support of dictatorial regimes. Let the forces of change take their course, even if they appear destabilizing. That is only a passing phase..