Almost half of the top 12 fastest growing economies in the world come from Africa. Ghana has swept from a 4.5% growth rate last year, to an astonishing 20.146% growth rate for 2011, making Ghana the fastest growing economy in the world.

The true size of Africa in perspective, just a reminder of how big Africa is, and how big its potential is as well.

See more information and detail at The True Size of Africa

Ghana is expected to be the fastest growing economy in the world in 2011!

12 Fastest Growing Economies of 2011

For 2010, we noted that none of the top growth countries were advanced economies; only one was G20.

Many people assume that China is the fastest growing country in the world, but that is not the case – it is the fastest growing large economy, and as we will see that is a different thing.

We also took a look at the key trends that are driving the growth figures.
Let’s take a look at the stats for 2011:

Growth rates are much higher this year. The chart tops out at over 20%.

Once again, developed countries do not feature in the Top 12. Almost half of the top 12 come from Africa. Ghana has swept from 4.5% last year, to an astonishing 20.146% for 2011.

One third of the Top 12 are from the Far East; two from the Middle East and one from Central Asia.

The African decade continues to hold sway. 2010 to 2020 is bringing massive development to the continent. As China continues to boom we will see the Chinese offer more large-scale infrastructure development to African governments in return for natural resources and farmland to support it’s vast population. In turn African countries are continuing to challenge old perceptions of corruption and violence through practicing better governance. Chart leader Ghana is one of Africa’s strongest democracies. African countries will continue to veer in favor of increased prosperity. The picture continues to be replacement of Western aid for Africa by Eastern trade with Africa.

The peace and democracy bonanza.
Rounding of our counter-intuitive list is another perfectly intuitive point. Countries like Ghana who are experiencing a new era of good governance will enjoy massive growth increases. Where there is peace and good governance, prosperity will follow as we see these countries making use of their resources more actively and using them to build, rather than wage war.

Check the Ghana Economic Statistics and Indicators.

Ghana is not the only country in Africa that is doing well. From Roubini Global Economics:
African Poverty Is Falling…Much Faster Than You Think.

Many believe:

Sub-Saharan Africa has made little progress in reducing extreme poverty, according to the latest Millennium Development Report. This column presents evidence from 1970 to 2006 to the contrary.

The sustained African growth of the last 15 years has engendered a steady decline in poverty that puts Africa on track to meet the Goals by 2017. If peace is established in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and it returns to the African trend (which is what happened to other African nations that were formerly at war), Africa will halve its $1/day income poverty rate by 2013, two years ahead of the 2015 target.

Moreover, African poverty reduction has been extremely general. Poverty fell for both landlocked and coastal countries, for mineral-rich and mineral-poor countries, for countries with favourable and unfavourable agriculture, for countries with different colonisers, and for countries with varying degrees of exposure to the African slave trade. The benefits of growth were so widely distributed that African inequality actually fell substantially.

Africa: graph of poverty and GDP, 1970-2006

  • Using the $1/day definition of poverty adopted by the Millennium Development Goals, African poverty declined strikingly, from 41.6% in 1990 to 31.8% in 20061.

  • Poverty seems to co-move with GDP almost perfectly.

  • African inequality has also fallen over this period, almost entirely reversing its rise since 1970, but still remaining at a high absolute level

  • Our main conclusion is that Africa is reducing poverty, and doing it much faster than many thought.

    • The growth from the period 1995-2006, far from benefiting only the elites, has been sufficiently widely spread that both total African inequality and African within-country inequality actually declined over this period.
    • The speed at which Africa has reduced poverty since 1995 puts it on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty relative to 1990 by 2015 on time or, at worst, a couple of years late.
    • If the Democratic Republic of Congo converges to the African trend once it is stabilised, the MDG will be achieved by 2012, three years before the target date.

    We also find that the African poverty reduction is remarkably general.

    • African poverty reduction cannot be explained by a large country, or even by a single set of countries possessing some beneficial geographical or historical characteristic.
    • All classes of countries, including those with disadvantageous geography and history, experience reductions in poverty.

    This observation is particularly important because it shows that poor geography and history have not posed insurmountable obstacles to poverty reduction.

    The authors, Maxim Pinkovskiy and Xavier Sala-i-Martin, explain their methodology and provide many more graphs that demonstrate their research and conclusions. View the graphs and read more at: African Poverty Is Falling…Much Faster Than You Think

    In a previous post I wrote about The African Growth Miracle PDF study by Alwyn Young at the London School of Economics, published in September 2009. His study showed:

    … real household consumption in sub-Saharan Africa is growing around 3.3 percent per annum, i.e. more than three times the 0.9 to 1.0 percent reported in international data sources and on par with the growth experienced in other developing countries.

    Measures of real consumption based upon the ownership of durable goods, the quality of housing, the health and mortality of children, the education of youth and the allocation of female time in the household indicate that sub-Saharan living standards have, for the past two decades, been growing in excess of 3 percent per annum, i.e. more than three times the rate indicated in international data sets.

    The thing that delayed this growth and created setbacks is war. It is unfortunate that current US attention to Africa is almost entirely military, preparing for more war. US foreign policy in Africa is military policy. The US is missing the African success boat.   It may be trying to sink it with its efforts at seabasing, its emphasis on military training to facilitate proxy war, and where there is war, partnering with the perpetrators.  I would like to see positive development in US relations with African countries.   For that to happen we need US leadership that can learn, that knows a bit of history, or we need new leadership.

    Nevertheless, this news on economic growth and the reduction of poverty and inequality is wonderful news, something we can celebrate as we prepare for lots of hard work ahead.