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From the Narrative of “Africa Rising” to “How Africa Can Arise”: The Macro-Economic Imperatives

Abstract

The notion of Africa as the direct antithesis of progress has begun to change in recent years. The advent of the present millennium has seen a persistent unravelling of the narrative of pathological dysfunctionality hitherto associated with Africa and a gradual paradigm shift to a new narrative that sees Africa as a growing continent with profound possibilities. Proponents of the new narrative have not limited it to just economic growth but have included changes in the political, economic and social structures. On face evaluation, it seems apparent that the tragedy of Africa as a drag to global growth and prosperity has turned. However, on careful examination, the change in the narrative only represents nominal progress built on a dysfunctional neoliberalism and continued commodity reliance with no real changes in the lives and living conditions of sub-Saharan Africans. While the economic growth figures across the region have been quite impressive and significant, the changing face of global poverty suggests a different narrative. This new face of global poverty perceives the region as the home of some of the world’s poorest countries, suggesting the inability of Sub-Saharan Africa to convert its growth to improved living conditions for its citizens. This chapter therefore explores the rise of neoliberalism in Africa and its dysfunctionalities, the continent’s continued reliance on primary commodity exports, the potential of the upcoming African Continental Free Trade Area, as well as critical policy priorities relevant to ensure that Africa really rises beyond the nominal.

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Fig. 19.1

(Source UNCTAD [2019] State of Commodity Dependence)

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Laniran, T.J., Omeje, K. (2021). From the Narrative of “Africa Rising” to “How Africa Can Arise”: The Macro-Economic Imperatives. In: Omeje, K. (eds) The Governance, Security and Development Nexus. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-49348-6_19

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