Consumer spending, which accounts for more than 60 % of Africa’s GDP, remained strong last year according to a World Bank report.
The trend was driven by declining inflation across the continent and improved access to credit in Angola, Ghana, Mozambique, South Africa, Nigeria and Zambia. In addition, interest rates were much lower in 2012 than in 2011 and we witnessed a spectacular rebound in agricultural income thanks to stable weather conditions. Especially Guinea, Mauritania and Niger experienced good rains compared to 2011, but less crops failed in general across the continent compared to the previous years.
We also have to add the steady remittance inflows to the good news coming from Africa, currently estimated at $31 billion.
Not to be sneezed at are the increased investments that are supporting the region’s growth performance. In 2012, for example, net private capital flows into the region increased by 3.3 % to a record $54.5 billion; and foreign direct investment inflows to the region increased by 5.5 % in 2012 to $37.7 billion.
The World Bank report also mentioned that exports are increasingly helping the continent’s growth and that the traditional destination of these goods over the last decade is also changing. Since 2000, the overall growth of sub-Saharan exports to emerging markets and other African countries has surpassed that to developed markets. Africans are increasingly selling to and buying from other Africans, which is the best news of all.