ECA Policy Brief - Issue 06
Africa’s experience over the last decade suggests strongly that the continent is likely to make the 21st century its own. Since the beginning of this century, African countries have shown strong economic growth. While growth slowed down from an average of 5.6 per cent during the period 2002-2008 to 2.2 per cent in 2009, when the global financial crisis and steep food and fuel prices hit the world, Africa quickly recovered with an average growth rate of 4.6 per cent in 2010. The continent’s average growth declined again in 2011 as a result of political transition in North Africa, but remained strong at 4.5 per cent in sub-Saharan Africa. This remarkable economic performance reflects improved economic management, a generally hospitable international environment and rising prices for commodities and strategic minerals. Observing this trend, several prominent international financial organizations and private think tanks have said that Africa has the potential to become a “global growth pole” that reflects its own size and rate of growth as it boosts growth in countries worldwide.