Why Africa needs its private sector
"A key question for anyone thinking about Africa relates to whether and how its economies will expand. For most of the last decade or so, the global context has been benign for Africa because of the rise in commodities prices and falling global prices for many manufactures. But now the commodity super cycle is over, the question is, what comes next? Only a decade ago, Africa was the least prospected continent on earth but the good news is that across most of Africa (South Africa is an exception) rising commodity prices triggered the wave of investment in mineral exploration. Basic geology predicts that Africa has far more mineral resources than have so far been discovered. If prospecting continues, this gap will narrow. Indeed, more production is already coming on stream: Ghana, Kenya and Uganda have started (or will soon start) to produce oil, Mozambique will be producing gas soon, while Tanzania will be doing so in a few more years. Wherever you look, there are new flows appearing, expanding the contribution of natural resources to African economies even as prices fall. This will underpin sub-Saharan African growth, which will probably exceed 5 per cent on a year average for the next decade. Besides natural resources, you’ve got two other sources of potential growth that could raise growth above 5 per cent. In this regard, an important wildcard for sub-Saharan Africa is whether it is able to break into global manufacturing."