With a decade of strong growth in Africa now at its close, where has that growth most delivered progress on prosperity, and why? To mark the launch of the ‘2016 Africa Prosperity Report
', Lord Malloch-Brown
gave a keynote speech on the state of prosperity in Africa, ahead of a panel discussion with experts.
In his remarks, the former UN Deputy Secretary General stated that Africa will find its own path forward, and create its own model for further development. He therefore praised the report’s contribution to the discussion of this path, adding:
“... the glory of this report is that it is not really about aid—it is about the different performances of African governments to achieve prosperity… this report prepares us for the next phase of the Africa story”
The report, in its third edition, traces the legacy of prosperity delivery across the continent during the years of high growth. By assessing the characteristics of those countries that have delivered more prosperity than expected, and those that have delivered less, the report draws the important conclusions about the path to future prosperity for countries in a low growth climate.
Alexandra Mousavizadeh, Director of the Prosperity Index, added that the key takeaway from this report is that wealth is not a determinant for progress, as there are countries which have delivered a lot with very little, and countries which have delivered very little with a lot.
Joining Lord Malloch-Brown on the panel was, Jonathan Rosenthal, Africa Editor of The Economist; David Pilling, Africa Editor of the Financial Times; and Modupe Ladipo, founder of EFInA, a financial sector development organisation that promotes financial inclusion in Nigeria
Rosenthal remarked at how struck is was to see the dispersions between a country’s level of wealth, and its ability to deliver, adding that the report provides a road map of what works and what doesn’t. Pilling argued that although Africa’s growth rates were above global averages—5.5% in the last decade alone—this remained insufficient in order to be transformative when population growth is considered.
Ladipo added to this, stating that although growth was indeed impressive, it was clear from the Nigeria case study that this hadn’t gone far enough in delivering poverty reduction.
The audience of 100 guests included the High Commissioners of Rwanda and Namibia, as well as business leaders and NGOs, and was moderated by the renowned academic and director of the Royal Africa Society, Richard Dowden.
2016 Africa Prosperity Report Explained