Prospects of renewed growth in Africa during the post-crisis environment are excellent, as the continent had the spare capacity to expand.
The panel consisted of: Lamido Sanusi, governor of the Nigerian central bank; Fifi Kwetey, deputy-minister of finance and economic planning in Ghana; Professor Njuguna Ndung’u, governor of the Kenyan central bank; Koosam Kalyan, non-executive board member of Standard Bank; and Standard Bank chief economist Goolam Ballim.
The consensus was that Africa was recovering from the financial crisis despite in many cases each country also having their own domestic crises to address – for instance, political turmoil followed by drought in the case of Kenya. Nonetheless, it was felt the prospects for Africa were excellent to build on the average 6% growth the continent had enjoyed prior to the crisis. What was shaping Africa’s destiny was a growing political will to address the challenges of the continent: poor governance, lack of infrastructure and uneven regulatory environment. However, this was building off low base: in many cases the more rich an African country is in resources, the worse off the people, especially in education. This reflected poor revenue management, which would only change as the ‘old guard’ faded in the face of growing democratisation across the continent.
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