Africa’s Accidental Advancement

How New Statistics Are Boosting the Continent’s GDP

The nearly finished monument to the African Renaissance rises above the Dakar skyline in Senegal's capital August 19, 2009. (Finbarr O'Reilly / Courtesy Reuters)

The International Monetary Fund’s 2012 World Economic Outlook provided surprising cause for optimism about economic growth in several African countries. Based on the IMF’s estimates, Business Insider recently profiled 20 countries with the highest projected compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2013 through 2017; ten of them are in sub-Saharan Africa, and two are in North Africa. These statistics have spurred some onlookers to argue that Africa is no longer “the hopeless continent” that The Economist dubbed it in May 2000.

It is true that there have been successes in Africa -- perhaps more than are commonly acknowledged. According to many experts, most African economies have been growing at a steady clip since the 1990s. And some experts believe that several African countries are richer than current GDP per capita estimates indicate.

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