African business, politics and lifestyle
World Bank President Robert Zoellick ended a visit to Africa this week with the pronouncement that this century belonged to the continent’s development despite damage to economies from the global financial crisis.
Those who remember what were flagged by some at the time as “Africa’s decades” in the 1980s and 1990s may have cause for scepticism given that in many countries they turned out disastrous despite early hopes.
But Africa’s economies had been growing at an unprecedented pace before the global financial crisis struck.
Zoellick acknowledged the immediate challenge required more resources to bolster regional integration as well as investments in energy, infrastructure and agriculture.
He said Africa deserves more attention and should be made a priority at international meetings like the Group of 20 developed and developing countries in the United States next month.
To make the case for more resources from donors, whose budgets are being strained by the financial crisis, Zoellick said Africans need to show they can use aid effectively and improve governance
Will African countries be able to show they can use aid effectively enough? Will this really be Africa’s century? If it is, then how auspicious is it for it to be kicked off with foreign aid?