Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Growth with Apology: The Despondency in the African Rising Narrative

by Fredrick Ajwang

Is Africa really on the rise, or rather was it really rising? A couple of years ago, to be precise in December 2011, The Economist Magazine published an issue based on the idea that Africa was on the rise. From henceforth the narrative of Africa rising became popular in academia and policy circles primed on the impressive growth data from the continent. In a real sense the data was good; Africa had six of ten fastest growing economies in the world then with some like Angola and Ethiopia hitting double digits figures. A 2010 Mckinsey Global Institute report stated that Africa’s average real GDP rose by 4.9% annually from 2000 to 2008 more than twice the pace in 1980s and 90s. With over five years since The Economist publication of the continent on the move, what are the implications of the growth for African populace or was it just a mirage raising the hopes of the African citizens that better times were around the corner?