Extracto de la entrada.
Africa has made tremendous progress over the last 13 years, going from “hopeless” to “aspiring”, in the words of The Economist. Certainly, Africa’s pace of growth has been impressive, averaging 5.1% of GDP per year – much faster than most OECD countries. Some have dismissed this simply as reflecting only the recent boom in natural resource prices. They point to the fact that prices of most commodities – agricultural, mineral and energy – doubled or even tripled over the same period, and warn that Africa’s growth will come to an end once resource prices taper off, as it is happening now.
This viewpoint misses the real story on two counts. First,
natural resources and their improved terms of trade contributed only a third of Africa’s growth. That’s quite a lot, but not enough to make Africa’s growth exclusively a resources story. Instead, much of Africa’s success is actually a productivity story. Applying new methods of measurement, the African Economic Outlook 2013 finds that Africa’s labour productivity increased by close to 3% during the 2000s, with almost half this attributable to workers moving to new activities with higher productivity. By contrast, Latin America’s productivity growth was less than 1%.
Second, rather than being the exclusive drivers of growth, Africa’s natural resources are contributing less than they could do. Agricultural commodities are a striking example: 24% of the world’s agricultural land is in Africa, but only 9% of agricultural production. With regards to mining, spending on exploration in Africa has remained below $5 per square kilometre; in Canada, Australia and Latin America the average is $65 per square kilometre.