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Africa’s New Economic Landscape

Rise of Africa
Punam Chuhan-Pole

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The August 2014 U.S.–Africa Leaders Summit served as a recognition of the dynamism of African economies and their growing interconnectedness with the global economy.1 For those who have been studying Africa’s economic development, the rise of the region has been evident for several years. Beginning in the mid-1990s, Africa has seen a remarkable turnaround in economic performance. Nearly two decades of robust growth and a better policy environment have made the region an increasingly attractive place to do business. Looking ahead, the more relevant issue is whether the region’s growth momentum will last. There are several deeper trends, especially natural resource wealth and demographic changes that hold the promise of sustaining Africa’s growth take-off and enhancing the region’s importance in the global economy. Unleashing this potential, however, will require countries to adopt appropriate reforms of policies and institutions.