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African economies growing fast

         Date: 2012-06-07

           Tag: African economies, African economies growing

Summary: Sub-Saharan Africa's abundance of mineral resources and oil helped the continent weather the world's economic downturn relatively well, growing by an average of 5 per cent in the past six years, acc…

Key to boosting Africa's development even further are entrepreneurs, from top financiers who attract multi-million dollar foreign investments, such as Michel Abrogoua in Ivory Coast, to fledging businesspeople struggling to launch enterprises, like Martha Partor in Liberia, whose food packaging operation battles to get sales of $US100 ($A102.96) per month.

Sub-Saharan Africa's abundance of mineral resources and oil helped the continent weather the world's economic downturn relatively well, growing by an average of 5 per cent in the past six years, according to the World Bank.

Of the world's 15 fastest-growing economies in 2010, 10 were from Africa, reports the IMF.

Bustling markets in Africa's cities and traders selling tomatoes along every roadside show that Africans have a business sense that propels them to enter the world of commerce.

Africa's fast-growing population means that young people are swelling the numbers of those seeking scarce jobs, according to a new African Economic Outlook report.

With almost 200 million Africans aged between 15 and 24, the continent has the youngest population in the world, and this number is expected to double by 2045, said the report. New jobs are urgently needed.

"The long-term perspective is good if African governments can effectively tackle the hurdles young people face," said the report.

Many of the young people will create their own jobs and even establish businesses that will employ others. These are Africa's new entrepreneurs.

"Entrepreneurship is not a new thing in Africa," Francis Chigunta, a lecturer at the University of Zambia, told GlobalPost.

"According to historical accounts, Africans were big traders who covered long distances to sell their wares and buy items for exchange and resale in their home areas.

"However, it is only in recent years that systematic efforts are being made across Africa to promote entrepreneurship as a means of promoting growth and prosperity."

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