Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt- the three biggest economies in Africa have been fingered for contributing significantly to the continent’s slow pace of economic growth in the decade between 2010 and 2019.
This is according to a report by McKinsey Global Institute titled Reimagining Economic Growth in Africa: Turning Diversity into Opportunities.
According to the report, there is a wide variation of economic growth in the continent. While some countries have experienced consistent economic growth, others have seen recent setbacks in growth. The continent’s three biggest economies fell into categories the report tagged “recent slowdown” or “slow growers”.
Egypt and Nigeria who had an average GDP growth rate of 4.8% and 7.9% r respectively between 2000 and 2010 have seen average growth rate shrink to 3.6% for Egypt and 3.1% for Nigeria in the decade between 2010 and 2019. South Africa- the continent’s third super economy fell into the “slow growers” category.
The country had an average GDP growth rate of 3.5% in the first decade of the millennium and 1.6% for the decade between 2010 and 2019.
On the other hand, the smaller countries on the continent have experienced consistent economic growth. Countries like Ethiopia, Ghana, Uganda, Zambia etc. have grown their GDP consistently grow in the years between 2000 and 2019. They have averaged around 4.2% economic growth in the first two decades of this century.
The report noted that “Almost half of Africa’s people live in countries where GDP growth between 2010 and 2019 exceeded the continent’s average growth rate of 4.2 per cent since 2000. These countries, which fall into clusters we call “consistent growers” and “recent accelerators,” were largely midsize economies that benefited from higher-than-average increases in investment, exports, and urbanization, which increased productivity. These countries offer valuable models for the continent to emulate.
The other half of the African population lives in countries that grew more slowly over the past decade, including the continent’s three largest economies—Egypt, Nigeria, and South Africa—as well as ten of the smallest countries on the continent.
Together, those countries, which fall into our “recent slowdown” and “slow growers” clusters, accounted for almost 75 percent of the continent’s GDP in 2019. Increasing their productivity is imperative to restoring Africa’s economic vitality.”