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Time for African Economic Miracle

March 27, 2017 • GLOBAL ECONOMY, Frontier Markets, Middle East & Africa

By Dan Steinbock

In the 20th century, Africa gained political independence but fell behind the economic boom. In the 21st century, it is Africa’s turn – but not without a stronger state and a new external push.

 

After struggling against corruption, lawlessness and terror, President Buhari’s administration has outlined an economic recovery plan targeting 7 percent GDP growth rate from 2017 to 2020. While many African economies are hoping for takeoff in the coming years, Nigeria represents the region’s greatest economic potential.

For longer than a century, Africa’s economic miracle has been a pipedream. But things are changing.

Stronger state, different external actors

In the mid-2000s, after decades in the slow lane, African economies hit the accelerator. But what lies ahead for the continent is not an open highway, says Justin Yifu Lin, World Bank’s former chief economist, with co-author Andrea Goldstein. “If Africa is to achieve its potential as the next emerging-market engine of global economic growth,” the two write, “it will have to industrialize.”

But the devil is in the details.

 
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