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Environment Magazine September/October 2008


May-June 2015

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Is the Africa Rising Cliché Sustainable? Toward Environmentally Sustainable and Socially Inclusive Growth in Africa

The “Africa rising” cliché has generated a lot of views across the world. As the saying goes, to every coin there are always two sides, and Africa's economic growth and boom typify this idiomatic expression.

On the one side, impressive headline growth figures are reported about Africa, with analytical output from the African Competitive Report,1 the World Bank,2 and African Economic Outlook3 reports observing the impressive gross domestic product (GDP) growth, averaging 5.1% since 2000, and doubling the average growth rate of the 1990s. In the period 1999–2010, three of the world's 10 fastest growing economies were in Sub-Saharan Africa. Going forward, GDP growth in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is expected to rise to 5.5% in 2015, reversing a multidecade pattern of low growth and instability.       

Richard Munang is the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Africa Regional Climate Change Programme Co-ordinator.

He tweets as @mtingem Robert Mgendi is the Ecosystem-based Adaptation Programme Officer with the UNEP's Regional Office for Africa Climate Change Programme.

The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the institution with which they are affiliated.

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