Sub-Saharan Africa has made huge leaps in the last decade. Malaria deaths in some of the worst-affected countries have declined by 30% and HIV infections by up to 74%. Life expectancy across Africa has increased by about 10% and child mortality rates in most African countries have been falling steeply. A booming economy has made a big difference. Real income per person has increased by more than 30%, whereas in the previous 20 years it shrank by nearly 10%.
Africa is the world’s fastest-growing continent at the moment. Over the next decade its GDP is expected to rise by an average of 6% a year, not least thanks to foreign direct investment. FDI has gone from $15 billion in 2002 to $37 billion in 2006 and $46 billion in 2012.
But Africa has seen booms before, only to crash-land. Violence, corruption and bad governance are still common. Are we seeing a false dawn once again? Below is a video with argument excerpts from a debate arranged by the Economist in April 2013. Debating are Wolfgang Fengler, Lead Economist, The World Bank, Nairobi, and Rick Rowden, development consultant. A transcript of the debate can be found on this link