THE ECONOMIST IS “COPYING US”: AFRICA’S FUTURE IS NOT ROSY.
May 22, 2018
While reading “Don’t expect miracles” on The Economist’s last week edition, I wondered: “Have they read my book and copied it?”. I don’t think so, but I hope so.
Some ideas are similar to mine. The Economist talks about Africa’s strange mechanisms, such as basing economy on raw materials and work on agriculture, when both things are affected by world demand rates. When demand is high, everything goes on well. But when demand is low, poverty reigns.
The Economist analyses three major risks:
Public finances: African countries’ public debts are rising. The median level of public debt rose from 30% of GDP in 2012 to 53 % last year. Money should be used to improve infrastructure, but the fear is that most of it go into few people’s pockets.
World economy: new commercial wars – sprung into action by Mr. Trump – can subjugate Africa in lots of countries, in a random and tough way.
Growth: all countries – except for those having elections or being underdeveloped – announced their growth rates, which are higher than those of the previous year or previous month. But “some think growth rates are a distraction” The Economist states: “the economy is growing but it’s not translating in jobs”. And, in my opinion, Africa has not entered the robotics and artificial intelligence’s loop yet, which increase productivity but doesn’t create work.
The article ends saying that poverty has decreased from 57% in 2002 to 42% last year, that education and health have improved, that future growth will be – according to IMF – of 4%. But that demographic growth in Africa will be huge and pro-capita income will creep up by 1% a year.
“That makes Africa” The Economist says, “looks more like Italy than China”. Therefore, “better keep praying”.
The Economist is not nice when talking about Italy and the article is a little bit superficial. Anyway, we can’t do but agree with its ideas. Unfortunately.