Why Africa must shift from dependence to diversification, now

Over the last decade, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has experienced historically high economic growth rates. The region has made significant social progress too. These gains have largely been driven by favourable commodity prices, financing conditions and improvement in macroeconomic management.

However, the high growth rates have not been sustained for long periods in many of these African countries. The plunge in prices of commodities like oil, copper and cocoa, with its resultant adverse impact on many economies reveals how dependent African countries are on natural resources. According to the International Monetary Fund, about 28 countries in sub-Saharan Africa are resource-rich, with these resources accounting for over 80% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Many of these countries depend on a few commodities, which account for the bulk of GDP, exports and fiscal revenues. Some other countries have often experienced recurring macroeconomic instabilities because of fluctuations in commodity prices, external demand and extreme weather conditions such as droughts and floods.

Source: African Development Bank Group


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