Africa is the world's fastest growing continent

The number of Africans living below the poverty line has fallen dramatically and the business climate is good. So what's holding back the fastest growing continent in the world?
Written by Tyler Falk, Contributor

With a projected average growth rate of 6 percent from 2013-2015 and one-third of African countries with economic growth rates currently above 6 percent, the African Development Bank says that Africa is now the fastest growing continent in the world.

In a new report, the African Development Bank Group says that 350 million Africans now earn between $2 and $20 a day as the share of the population living below the poverty line has fallen from 51 percent to 39 percent.

The continent's business climate is also improving with the cost of starting a business falling by more than two-thirds over the last seven years and delays in starting a business cut in half. Since 2000, there has been $392 billion in foreign direct investment.

But, as the continent becomes more prosperous, that wealth isn't reaching everyone.

“The challenge will be to address continuing inequality so that all Africans, including those living in isolated rural communities, deprived neighborhoods, and fragile states are able to benefit from this economic growth. Pursuing an inclusive and sustainable growth agenda is key to reducing these inequalities,” the report says.

And one of its biggest hindrances to growth? Infrastructure.

“Africa currently invests just four percent of its collective GDP in infrastructure, compared with China’s 14 percent,” the report says. “While sustainable infrastructure entails significant upfront investments, it will prove cost-effective in the longer term.”

Read more: African Development Bank

Photo: Flickr/Dan Kori

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