Like many economists, I tend to fear the worst.I have witnessed phenomenal changes for the better in sub-Saharan Africa over the past 20 odd years. Part of me still worries that this trajectory will not endure.
But, the more I see of the region’s economic performance and outlook, the more I’m changing my tune.
Old anxieties set aside
Among the havoc wrought by the global financial crisis, unemployment ranks at the top. This discussion often focuses on the situation in advanced countries. Unemployment in the United States, for example, continues to hover around 9 percent.
Take that and double it. Then you can begin—yes, just begin—to get a sense of the magnitude of the problem in South Africa. Unemployment in South Africa now stands at some 24 percent. Youth unemployment is phenomenally higher still at some 50 percent.