Africa builds a new foundation

There is good news in the world, according to an editorial that appeared in Pakistan’s DAWN Newspaper. It’s nice to report this, especially in light of the Chilean earthquake and its zone of destruction. However, this good news is on the other side of the Atlantic.

An evening in Lagos, Nigeria's largest city

Africa’s Poverty level is falling, ushering in what could become a new chapter for the continent. While ongoing rebel attacks in Somalia and resurgent violence in Darfur continue to lead the headlines, its possible that the major players in a developing Africa, like Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa,  will follow in the footsteps of India and Brazil, which are becoming more and more prominent on the international stage.

This was published in the DAWN Newspaper on Friday. I wanted to post it because the world needs to hear good news right now.

Africa’s Poverty Rate is Falling:

By Larry Elliott

FOR decades, it has been seen as the world’s lost continent. Now, a new study says that the view of Africa as a basket case is wrong.

As the continent prepares to welcome thousands of international football fans for the World Cup in June, it seems the image of an economically vibrant region the hosts are keen to project is closer to the truth than tired stereotypes suggest.

Xavier Sala-i-Martin and Maxim Pinkovskiy, two US-based academics, find that in the 10 years before the credit crunch began, poverty rates fell rapidly and inequality declined right across the continent.

They say that it is time to stop feeling so gloomy about the prospects for Africa, which they claim may meet the Millennium Development Goal target, of halving the number of people living on $1 a day, ahead of the 2015 deadline.

“Our results show that the conventional wisdom that Africa is not reducing poverty is wrong. In fact, since 1995, African poverty has been falling steadily,” the authors say. “Moreover, contrary to the commonly held idea that African growth is largely based on natural resources and helps only the rich and well-connected, we show that a great deal of this growth has accrued to the poor.”

The findings in the report, published by America’s National Bureau of Economic Research, contradict the views of the World Bank and the United Nations, which established the millennium goals in 1990.

Hopefully the work cited by these two authors is true. Its time for Africa to join ranks with the industrialized world, since its people are so hardworking and in many cases, are essential in today’s global economy. Earlier, I picked up a copy of Homeland by George Obama…where the President’s brother shares his stories of life in Nairobi’s slums. Maybe the children who are living there now will have a future where their country transforms itself.


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