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Africa’s century?

August 14, 2009

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?


Wasn’t Europe rebuild with foreign aid in the form of the Marshall Plan? Then, why can’t the same be done in Africa? But, in order for foreign aid, foreign investments and all those things to foster lasting development, Africans must first take their future into their own hands, something we’ve begun to see over the last 15 years. This is why most African countries have shown remarkable resilience in the face of a food crisis, financial crisis and now the global recession all in 2008, yet it still managed to attract 16% increase in foreign direct investment thus being the only continent to achieve that in 2008. I think Africa is on to something here!

Posted by Mali | Report as abusive

The recent death of Omar Bongo, an unrelentingly autocratic ruler of 41 yrs, has created an opportunity. Elections are 30th August, but they are under serious threat – icle/ALeqM5hmaEksFLnW-oPD4NVTXbpOehuj5w. Bongo’s son looks set to succeed him.
Nominee Bruno Ben Moubamba wants to raise aware of the opportunity for development, while the Bongo’s continue to embezzle vast amounts ($200 million plus). Please help raise awareness of the up coming elections by reposting the above link. Please support change in Africa

Posted by Juniper D | Report as abusive

Africa is coming off of a low base in terms of economic development and with much improved governance and more attraction of foreign capital this could certainly be Africa’s century to catch up with the rest of the world.

Posted by Nwabu | Report as abusive

Dear Editor,
Good article from you and useful visit by World Bank President to African countries
I have collected lot of notes on African nations rich natural,mineral resources from different writings and from European scholars.
Even though,many developed nations had suffered a lot on day today1s economy on recession periods,but African nations were not suffered.
This is the right time for providing more financial aids for their growth and proper utilization of tremendous African man powers.
Now,African nations should come in clean states from corruption,sudden violence among their own sects,and from unscientific illusions.
Happy days are ahead for Africans.


Africa is on the right path! We all know what we want for our continent and working hard to achieve it.
We will catch up with out a doubt!

Thank you for this great article!



I am an African but I think the world should stop giving money to African governments becuase it ends up in private puckects. Till they prove to the world a sens of justice and democracy.

Posted by Suh Albert | Report as abusive

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