In total, Africa’s growth rate has averaged well above 5% in the past decade, after 20 difficult years of flat and often negative growth in several countries. The challenge for the continent in the coming years is whether Africa will be able to maintain these impressive growth rates, and whether future growth will be built on the types of productivity enhancements that are associated with rising living standards.
The issue of employment has grown in prominence on national and global development agendas in recent times, given its socio-economic and political implications. Though the employment challenge has its own dimensions, it scourges countries worldwide regardless of their stage of socio-economic development. Thus, employment is currently a global policy issue.
Continued demand for Africa’s natural resources as well as the recent discoveries of oil, gas and minerals in, among others, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique, together with an improved macro-economic environment, sustain prospects for robust economic growth on the continent.
One of the main gaps which have been identified in the African infrastructure value chain is the national and regional backbone that underpins the delivery of broadband capacity to government, academia, businesses and individual users.
The pace of the global recovery weakened toward the end of 2012 for most advanced countries. In the face of worsening labour market conditions and balance sheet deleveraging by banks, consumer spending remains depressed, despite a temporary rebound in mid-year. In many countries of the Eurozone and elsewhere, the introduction of austerity measures is translating into reduced disposable incomes and curbed consumer spending. Nonetheless, towards the end of 2012 saw a marginal improvement in the European Commission consumer confidence indicator, but still around mid-2009 levels and well below historical average.
Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) exhibited significantly better economic and social indicators than Asia in the immediate post-independence era in the 1960s. Existing historical records and evidence suggest that the region had higher average per capita income and better human development indicators.
The Horn of Africa (HoA), which comprises of eight countries, has an estimated combined population of 210 million people and is one of the world’s most food-insecure and vulnerable regions on the planet, with the majority of the inhabitant’s pastoralists and agro-pastoralists, living on marginalized lands.
Following a strong recovery from the downturn of 2008−09, economic momentum in South Africa is losing steam against the backdrop of a weaker external environment. As the recovery took hold, macro-economic policies moved towards a less accommodative stance from early 2010.
The exponential rise in energy prices over the last 10 years is seen as the beginning of a new era in which energy prices will remain high for an extended period. Several factors have driven this trend, including the rapid growth in demand for energy in developing countries such as China and India; the depletion of easily accessible supplies of oil; and the higher cost of extracting oil from deep oceans, remote areas, and politically unstable regions.
With an increasing use of retail agents and communications technology, bank-led and nonbank-led models are found to be converging not in branchless banking but a banking beyond- branch (BBB) arrangement.
In a number of developing countries, the relationship between increased resource allocation to the education sector and improved education outcomes is fairly weak. A major finding is that “traditional” education inputs fail to yield the expected positive influence.
Out of South Africa’s nine provinces, the greatest number of farm-workers resides in the wealthy and fertile Western Cape.Despite their fundamental role in the success of our country’s valuable fruit, wine, and tourism industries, farm-workers benefit very little, in large part because they are subject to exploitative conditions and human rights abuses without sufficient protection of their rights.
Countries in Africa face many challenges in their quest to improve the welfare of their populations, one of which is the lack of access to affordable and reliable modern energy. Africa has the lowest electrification rate of all regions. It is estimated that only 42 percent of the population has access to electricity, compared with 75 percent in the developing world.
Over the last decade, six of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies were in sub-Saharan Africa. Yet, there are troubling indicators that this exponential growth has not resulted in robust growth of “good” jobs.
Developments in science and technology are fundamentally altering the way people live, connect, communicate and transact, with profound effects on economic development. To promote tech advance, developing countries should invest in quality education for youth, and continuous skills training for workers and managers.
The internet at its current growth rate and development stands to be the greatest machine ever built in the history of humanity. Extract of a keynote presentation at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre on Thursday, June 21 2012.
The private sector is Africa’s primary engine of growth. It generates an estimated 70 percent of Africa’s output, approximately two-thirds of its investment and 90 percent of employment on the continent.