Africa’s greatest challenge is to ensure the benefits of growth are spread more equally so the revolutions in the north of the continent do not spread, says Donald Kaberuka, president of the African Development Bank.
North African economieswill drag down overall growth across the continent to 3.7 per cent this year, from 4.2 per cent in 2010, according to forecasts from the bank. But sub-Saharan Africa will grow 5.6 per cent in 2011, rising to 6.2 per cent next year, with more than 10 countries growing faster than 7 per cent.
“Our challenge in Africa is one of inequalities. Growth seems to benefit a few people .?.?. North Africa’s economies were growing, but they were not inclusive enough and therefore not sustainable,” Mr Kaberuka told the Financial Times after the bank’s annual meeting.
African governments had balanced their books, he said. Now they needed to ensure higher levels of investment in education and agriculture, and provide the climate for small and medium-sized enterprises to thrive. Vietnam, Cape Verde and, to an extent, Ghana provided models, he said.
“The big dangers to the African recovery now are the international economy, number two, the food pricesand number three, socio-political revolts. The economy provides the raw material and the politics the trigger,” Mr Kaberuka said