On Africa’s Demographics

This is from The Economist:

Screen Shot 2018-09-20 at 12.03.13 PMSub-Saharan Africa’s dependency ratio (the population younger than 20 and older than 64 versus the population between those ages) is 129:100, compared with 65:100 in Europe. Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to have a worse dependency ratio than Europe even in 2050.

… There is nothing inherently African about large families. Botswana’s fertility rate is 2.6, down from 6.6 in 1960. South Africa’s rate is 2.4. And although the UN has a good record of predicting global population growth, it has got fertility projections badly wrong in individual countries. Sudden baby busts in countries like Brazil, Iran and Thailand caught almost everyone out. Could Africa also spring a surprise?

Read the whole thing here.

On balance, I am less alarmed by population growth in Africa than most observers. Female gross secondary school enrollment is at an all time high. Urbanization is apace. Family sizes are most likely to shrink at faster rates than anticipated by current models.

Liberia just lost cash worth 5% of its GDP

This is from Reuters:

A series of shipments of notes ordered by Liberia’s central bank from printers overseas have disappeared since last year after passing through the country’s main ports, Liberia’s information minister Eugene Nagbe told local radio on Tuesday.

The missing amount is the equivalent of nearly 5 percent of the West African country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

This Yahoo story has more details.

Front Page Africa has specific shipment details.

The Liberian economy is dominated by both the Liberian (L$) and American dollars ($). In the recent past Liberian legislators have tried to make the L$ the sole legal tender for local transactions in an effort to turn the economy into a “single currency regime.” The fact that there are millions of US dollars worth of L$ floating around will not inspire confidence in the Liberian dollar.

The Liberian dollar is not doing well in the currency markets.