The 54 countries in Africa finally worth more than an Italy

Africa, the world’s second-largest and second-most-populous continent after Asia, covering 20.4% of Earth’s total land area and account for 15% of its human population, with 54 sovereign states and abundant of natural resources, produced a total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) worth $2.016 trillion last year, for the first time exceeding that of Europe’s fourth largest economy, Italy, who squeezed out $2.014 trillion of economic output within the similar period. Among them, South Africa is the continent’s biggest economy, followed by Nigeria.


The 54 nations in Africa now has a combined GDP more than Italy

Many African countries are highly dependent on the export of natural resources. The relatively more advanced industrial nation is perhaps, South Africa, who alone made up 40% of African industrial output. According to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Africa has a 1.0% share of the world’s manufacturing output, while the island of Taiwan managed to chunk out 1.1% of the planet’s total. Despite being the richest continent (in natural resources), Africa has the poorest inhabitants on Earth.

But thanks to years of Chinese infrastructure investment, under a concept known as “resource-for-infrastructure” where China builds up African infrastructure in return for its resources, after decades of conflict, instability and mismanagement, Africa is finally breaking free from its troubled past. Countries like Tanzania, Ethiopia, Ghana, Angola and Nigeria are leaping ahead, enjoying unprecedented growth and investment. About one-third of Africa’s 54 nations now have a yearly GDP growth rates of more than 6%. Economic reports from African Union revealed that per capita GDP of the continent ($1,800) is now higher than India ($1,600).


Taiwan manufactures more goods than the entire Africa

Africans now hope their continent could become the next Asia. Fifty years ago, Asia accounted for less than 15% of global output. China’s economy was smaller than France; South Korea’s GDP was less than Mozambique; Taiwan was poorer than Ghana. But within a single generation, the most populous region on Earth became one of the most prosperous. South Korean economy is now almost equivalent to the entire sub-Saharan Africa. Asia produces 40% of global output, has a larger middle class than Europe, and is home to more billionaires than North America.

Many African nations are convinced that they are the Asia of 1960s, charting their own development paths and are studying the tracks left by others, particularly the Asian tiger economies. One of the countries they are modelling after is Malaysia. Students from Africa are being sent to universities across Malaysia, the Nigerian 2020 development goal and inward investment policy are based on Malaysia’s experience. Tanzania is structuring its own economic path following Malaysia’s Economic Transformation Programme, and is working with Malaysian experts in agriculture, education and resources. During his recent trip to Kuala Lumpur, South African President Jacob Zuma expressed interest in seeing how the lessons from Malaysia’s development could be applied to South Africa.


African average per capita GDP now richer than India

Since The Economist regrettably labelled Africa “the hopeless continent” 10 years ago, a profound change has taken hold. The World Bank said in a report this year that “Africa could be on the brink of an economic take-off, much like China was 30 years ago and India 20 years ago,” though it believes a major poverty reduction will require higher growth than today’s long-term average of 7% or more.

UNCTAD, the United Nations trade and development agency, however said: “Africa accounts for only 1% of global manufacturing. And manufacturing represents only 10% of African GDP, compared to 35% for East Asia and 16% for Latin America and the Caribbean. The low level of manufacturing development in Africa means that manufactured goods such as cars, machines, and electronic gadgets must be imported from overseas. If various national markets can be effectively integrated into a larger regional market, there should be sufficient numbers of customers to support the expansion of industry within the region.”

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Wars, poverty and AIDS continue to be the biggest problem in Africa

An additional challenge noted by UNCTAD is that Africa has some of the highest costs in the world for transporting goods. In Central Africa, transporting one ton of goods along the route from Douala in Cameroon to N’Djamena in Chad costs $0.11 per kilometre, which is more than twice the cost in Western Europe ($0.05) and more than five times the cost in Pakistan ($0.02).

But still the perception of Africa has transformed in the past 20 years. Gone are the days when Africa was viewed as just a basket case. Donald Kaberuka, the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), said in a recent BBC interview, “Nowadays rich countries don’t have to ask how they can help Africa, but how they can do business with and work with Africa!” It is reported that of the 54 African countries, 26 have now achieved middle-income status. But AfDB defines the African middle class as those spending between $2 and $20 a day. Some economists argue that this sum is too low, when compared with other continents. More than half of the continent’s population still lives below the international poverty line - on less than $2 a day.


The rise of Africa: Can it last?

Anver Versi, a Kenyan economic journalist and editor of the London-based Africa Business magazine, says Africa is catching up. “One could argue that Africa is going to be a major market over the next 50 years, because it has resources in addition to its manpower,” Versi said. “You will have to say that Africa is the most attractive investment area and the Chinese recognized that 10 or 15 years ago. And perhaps German companies as well as the rest of Europe should wake up to the possibility,” he added.

But the Germans are skeptical. High growth rates are no reason for euphoria, says Robert Kappel, a German Africa researcher from the GIGA Institute in Hamburg. He has been researching the development prospects of 42 sub-Saharan countries. He says international comparisons show that most of them are performing poorly. “The growth is mainly coming from outside factors such as natural resources that has increased greatly in recent years and has pushed up prices. This greatly contributed to the high economic growth, and that is also a great weakness,” Kappel said.


A large parts of Africa continue to be wrecked by violence

“About 20 to 25% of African countries are still fragile. They suffer from political turmoil and military coups and by no means can one speak of positive growth dynamics in those countries. Income is low and the population play no real role in business processes. Raw materials are not always a good resource for economic development. Most developed countries do not have oil or large deposits of natural resources. They focus on other things such as the service sector or agriculture.”

Indeed, industrialization in Africa remains slow and agriculture cannot even meet the needs of Africa’s own populations. Job markets show zero growth. In South Africa, more than 25% of the population, mainly young people,are unemployed. Whether Africa’s economic boom will last depends on a long list of factors, says Kappel. “Further economic reforms, the opening up of markets, better investment legislation so that both local and international companies really do invest. And if the education sector and infrastructure are improved, then Africa can continue to grow and become a continent of hope. There would be a happy end to the tale of Africa’s economic boom.”

Source:

http://www.ibtimes.com/africa-poised-un … ica-worlds

http://mg.co.za/article/2013-09-06-00-a … ke-over-1/

http://www.unido.org/fileadmin/user_med … 2012Q3.pdf

http://www.economist.com/node/21541008

http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2 … s-economy/

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/wor … -continent

http://www.finfacts.ie/irishfinancenews … 6427.shtml

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/rachael … 56273.html

Soon our country will join Italy

Anver Versi, a Kenyan economic journalist and editor of the London-based Africa Business magazine, says Africa is catching up. “One could argue that Africa is going to be a major market over the next 50 years, because it has resources in addition to its manpower,” Versi said. “You will have to say that Africa is the most attractive investment area and the Chinese recognized that 10 or 15 years ago. And perhaps German companies as well as the rest of Europe should wake up to the possibility,” he added.

didnt i say the same thing few years back? :slight_smile:

but only if the warring and fragmented and ideologically diverse african nations starts putting down the guns, forge a common agenda and see the tremendous profits self-african (irrespective of colors) cooperation could bring them.

Mugabe and ass-embedded brains like him destroyed that option