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Africa's Recent Economic Growth: What Are the Contributing Factors?

Abdoul' Ganiou Mijiyawa

African Development Review, 2013, vol. 25, issue 3, 289–302

Abstract: This paper analyses the characteristics of the recent African economic growth. The data reveal that during the period 1995–2005, Africa caught up with East Asia in terms of economic growth and investment. However, East Asia has improved its advantage on Africa in terms of GDP per capita and growth fundamentals. African economic growth rate was 2.2 percentage points higher during the period 1995–2005 compared to the period 1975–94. However, between the two periods, only primary education, exports and urbanization have significantly increased in Africa. The other growth determinants have either slightly deteriorated or remained stagnant. The results of growth regressions over the period 1995–2005 indicate that investment, private sector access to credit, government effectiveness, exports and the share of agriculture value added in GDP are significantly linked with economic growth. Thus, compared to the statistical analysis, growth regressions suggest that most of the variables which have significantly contributed to growth recovery are not those variables which have positively evolved in Africa. The good news is that African economies have grown recently without changing many growth fundamentals. The bad news is that the recent African growth recovery may not be sustainable if efforts are not focused on right growth fundamentals.

Date: 2013
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