Giving credit to Africa’s Financial Markets and why we need to step up reform

If you open the World Bank’s Global Financial Development Database and compare the data on private credit against total population, it is instructive to note the markedly different growth rates. In the developing economies of sub-Saharan Africa, credit extension has grown fairly impressively in the last 10 years albeit off a low base—from 10 percent to 18 percent. However, the total population of the region has grown by nearly a third, and now stands at 1 billion people. These disparate numbers suggest that credit is not growing fast enough to build the infrastructure and create the jobs needed to support this rapidly growing, young population.