Trends on Aid, Growth and Government Spending in Africa

Data from the Penn Tables

The graph shows average growth rates, government expenditure as a fraction of GDP and foreign aid as a fraction of GDP in Sub-Saharan Africa since 1960. Both the growth and aid trends are encouraging. Growth has been positive since the mid-1990s and aid seems to be trending downward in the long-run. It is also apparent that the African growth tragedy was to a large extent confined to the disaster periods that were the “lost decade” of the 1980s (caused by the oil shocks, commodity bursts, debt crises and SAPs) and civil wars era of the early 1990s.

Despite the ongoing crises like this, this and this, the region as a whole appears to be experiencing an economic upswing. In the coming decade, the Economist projects that 7 out of 10 of the fastest growing economies in the world will be African.