African Growth Miracle in a Changing Global Order: A Myth or Reality?

  • Samuel O. OloruntobaEmail author
Part of the Advances in African Economic, Social and Political Development book series (AAESPD)


Recent reports on Africa by international development agencies like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) show that Africa is at the verge of its own economic miracle. Years of sustained economic growth as manifested in a record Gross Domestic Product of an average of 6 % gives cause for hope. Boom in information communication technology in countries like Nigeria, Tunisia, and Tanzania lend credence to the claim that this is Africa’s moment. The demographic advantage that the continent have over other continents with ageing population also presents a basis for optimism that the continent is on the path to economic revival as China and other Asian countries experienced in the 1980s. However, there are causes for concern that the so called growth miracle may be a mirage after-all. This is because the growth has not impacted positively on the majority of the citizens who still live in abject poverty. Unemployment among the youthful population is still very high with a national average of above 23 % in a country like Nigeria. Political instability is also very rife in different parts of the sub-region such as ongoing crisis in Mali, the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria, internecine conflict in Democratic Republic of Congo, Tunisia, Guinea, Libya and Egypt. This chapter examines the contradictions in the assumed growth miracle, especially against the background of its precarious nature and ensuing fragility in many of the countries in Africa. It calls for cautious optimism with recommendations for laying solid foundation for sustainable economic development on the continent.


Foreign Direct Investment Liberal Democracy Human Capability Current Growth Global Economic Crisis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Thabo Mbeki African Leadership InstituteUniversity of South AfricaPretoriaSouth Africa

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