Current Status of Economic & Social Development in Africa

Managers in all countries, including developing countries, must act within the broader economic and social context in which they live and work and it is therefore important for them to understand the current status of economic and social development initiatives in their countries and regions.  This month’s report summarizes the current situation in Africa based on a paper published by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the African Union Commission.  The report indicates that Africa appears to have weathered the recent global economic crisis and sustained and strengthened its economic recovery in 2010 by achieving an average GDP growth rate of 4.7%, which compared to a 2.3% increase in 2009.  The report  highlighted several positive factors as provided the foundation for the economic recovery in Africa, including the rebound of export demand and commodity prices; increased inflows of foreign direct investment especially in extractive industries and aid; return of tourism; investment in infrastructure associated with countercyclical policies adopted by many African countries; increased activities in the service sector, particularly in telecommunications, higher consumer demand; and good harvests in some countries.  However, much still needs to be done in order for Africa to realize its potental–some have speculated that if things goes well Africa will be the fastest growing continent in the world during the second half of the 21st Century.

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