Is Africa Rising? A Comparative Analysis on Selected African and East Asian Countries

Tigist Zelalem


This paper tries to prove whether Africa is rising. To achieve our objective we used simple statistics like averages, multiples (folds), the catching up index to compare Africa's trends of economic growth relative to East Asian countries. We found in bold that Africa is not rising rather swinging back and forth. The total share of Africa from the world population is growing while its share from world GDP is declining over time. This means there is a lower tendency of improving the well-being of society. In 1960 SSA countries had a 2.26 percent share of world GDP. This figure declines to 2.18 percent in 2019. However, in East Asia and the pacific excluding high-income countries which have nearly the same GDP share in 1960, it increased to 16.9 percent in 2019 while its population share fall from 29.5 percent in 1960 to 27.3 percent in 2019. The catching up index shows no evidence of convergence in African countries and no falling back in East Asian countries. East Asian countries excluding high-income countries were able to increase their GDP and GDP per capita by over 62 and 23 folds between 1960 and 2019. Their GDP per person employed increased by 6 fold from 1991 to 2019. While SSA countries; have only increased GDP by 7 folds, GDP per capita by 49 percent, and GDP per person employed by 35 percent over the same period.

Keywords: Catching-up index, relative convergence, Rising Africa

DOI: 10.7176/JAAS/80-01

Publication date:May 31st 2022

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