Can Africa Claim the 21st Century? logo

Major changes are needed if Africans and their children are to claim the 21st century. With the rapidly growing population, 5 percent annual growth is needed simply to keep the number of poor from rising. Halving severe poverty by 2015 will require annual growth of more than 7 percent, along with a more equitable distribution of income. Trends in Africa will need to change radically for a catch-up process to materialize. This will require determined leadership within Africa. It will require better governance--developing stable and representative constitutional arrangements, implementing the rule of law, managing resources transparently, and delivering services effectively to communities and firms. It will require greater investment in Africa ' s people as well as measures that encourage private investment in infrastructure and production. And it will require better support--and perhaps more support--from the international development community. In facing these challenges, Africa has enormous potential--including the potential of its women, who now provide more than half of the region ' s labor but lack equal access to education and factors of production. This report brings together the recent body of work--particularly that emanating from Africa itself--to show how some African countries are approaching common issues. African economies and sub-regions are diverse and each will have to find its way to address the challenges of the 21st century.

Publisher: World Bank

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