Single title

Growth with Obstacles

by Burkhardt Hellemann, Mathias Kamp, Florian Karner, Vladimir Kreck, Daniel El-Noshokaty, Gunter Rieck Moncayo

Highlights on the Economic Development in Sub-Saharan Africa

Barely any issues in Germany have witnessed such an increase of attention over the past few years as the economic development of Africa. Africa’s increasing relevance to Germany and Europe brings up matters on the agenda that used to be considered niche issues. Numerous initiatives notably attest to this new attention. For instance, the “Compact with Africa”, ratified under the German presidency of the G20, aims at more private investment in Africa that is to be translated into local growth and employment.

The African continent is home to the fastest-growing population in the world but so far, its economic growth has been unable to keep up with its demographical challenges – even though the high growth rates of African economies over the past few years might give a different impression. This volume, which provides particular highlights on the situation on the ground from the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung’s perspective, begins with analysis of the relationship between demography and economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa.

Weak regional trade in sub-Saharan Africa overlooks much potential for economic growth, as the article on the vision and the reality of economic integration in sub-Saharan Africa shows. Time will tell whether the transcontinental free-trade agreement (AfCFTA), can be brought to life to give trade in the continent the urgently needed economic boost. This would also contribute to greater resilience for African economies, which must face the global megatrends of digitization and automation in the coming years. The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung recently commissioned a study of the drivers and possible effects on the ground, and the most important insights are introduced here.

The most problematic areas these three general analyses focus on found an excellent case study of Nigeria – which is the largest economy on the continent: little diversification, rapid population growth, and paralysing protectionism keep the oilrich giant well away from its potential. And the start-up scene in Ghana, often represented as a model, has a number of challenges to deal with despite a few promising developments.

In view of all these difficulties, support for economic growth and the enhancement of private investment seem to be a logical step for German development cooperation. In fact, there is no way around more investment in Africa, more growth and employment, if the local population are to be offered a perspective that does not leave them in poverty, resignation or involuntary migration. The fact that this re-orientation of German development cooperation faces certain dichotomies that give rise to their own challenges is addressed at the end of this volume.

This collection of highlights makes it clearer that targeted orientation of African and German policy appears more important than ever if our common interests are to be achieved.

Contact Person

Gunter Rieck Moncayo

Gunter Rieck Moncayo bild

Policy Advisor for Economy and Trade Sub-Saharan Africa +49 30 26996-3828 +49 30 26996-53828