Growth in Fragile States in Africa: Conflict and Post-conflict Capital Accumulation

This framework paper analyses the pattern of capital accumulation in Africa and its interaction with political fragility. Political fragility retards or reverses gains with respect to capital accumulation, slowing long-term economic growth. Many countries experience negative rates of capital accumulation particularly during periods of acute political instability. In post-conflict periods, countries generally continue to experience capital destruction, lending support to the “war ruin hypothesis.” This has implications for long-term economic growth in view of the strong association between capital accumulation and economic performance. The main policy implication of the analysis is that African countries and their international partners should pay more attention to capital accumulation, including capital reconstruction after periods of political instability, in order to lay the foundations for sustainable economic growth.