Africa’s economy rebounds strongly, but jobs remain elusive
Rice farming in Madagascar: Some countries have achieved notable increases in agricultural productivity, although growth is uneven across the continent. Photograph: UN Photo / Lucien Rajaonin
Alimamy Bangura, a rice farmer in Makeni, eastern Sierra Leone, is unlikely to read the 2011 Economic Report on Africa written by experts of the African Union (AU) and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). The report forecasts a 5 per cent economic growth rate for the continent this year. “I am just excited that the rains have come at the right time,” Alimamy told Africa Renewal. “I got some fertilizers from the government, and everyone wants to eat rice in this country.”
Alimamy’s prospects of a better life this year may go beyond just a decent harvest. That is because the doom predicted by some analysts for Africa in the wake of the global financial and economic crisis in 2008 and 2009 did not last. Rather, Africa’s economy is once more in an upswing. The latest report announced a 4.7 per cent growth rate in 2010, surpassing the global average of 3.6 per cent. The anticipated 5 per cent for 2011 is more icing on the cake.