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Africa's Turn?

Author

Listed:
  • Edward Miguel

    () (University of California, Berkeley)

Abstract

By the end of the twentieth century, sub-Saharan Africa had experienced twenty-five years of economic and political disaster. While "economic miracles" in China and India raised hundreds of millions from extreme poverty, Africa seemed to have been overtaken by violent conflict and mass destitution, and ranked lowest in the world in just about every economic and social indicator. Working in Busia, a small Kenyan border town, economist Edward Miguel began to notice something different starting in 1997: modest but steady economic progress, with new construction projects, flower markets, shops, and ubiquitous cell phones. In Africa's Turn? Miguel tracks a decade of comparably hopeful economic trends throughout sub-Saharan Africa and suggests that we may be seeing a turnaround. He bases his hopes on a range of recent changes: democracy is finally taking root in many countries; China's successes have fueled large-scale investment in Africa; and rising commodity prices have helped as well. Miguel warns, though, that the growth is fragile. Violence and climate change could derail it quickly, and he argues for specific international assistance when drought and civil strife loom. Responding to Miguel, nine experts gauge his optimism. Some question the progress of democracy in Africa or are more skeptical about China's constructive impact, while others think that Miguel has underestimated the threats represented by climate change and population growth. But most agree that something new is happening, and that policy innovations in health, education, agriculture, and government accountability are the key to Africa's future. Contributors include Olu Ajakaiye, Ken Banks, Robert Bates, Paul Collier, Rachel Glennerster, Rosamond Naylor, Smita Singh, David N. Weil, and Jeremy M. Weinstein. A Boston Review Book

Suggested Citation

  • Edward Miguel, 2009. "Africa's Turn?," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262012898, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:0262012898
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sawada, Yasuyuki & Takasaki, Yoshito, 2017. "Natural Disaster, Poverty, and Development: An Introduction," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 2-15.
    2. Marco Manacorda & Andrea Tesei, 2016. "Liberation Technology: Mobile Phones and Political Mobilization in Africa," HiCN Working Papers 217, Households in Conflict Network.
    3. William Easterly, 2009. "Can the West Save Africa?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 373-447, June.
    4. Katherine Casey & Rachel Glennerster & Edward Miguel, 2014. "Healing the Wounds: Learning from Sierra Leone's Postwar Institutional Reforms," NBER Chapters,in: African Successes, Volume I: Government and Institutions, pages 15-32 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. José Noguera-Santaella, 2017. "Is Sub-Saharan Africa catching up?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 52(2), pages 555-575, March.
    6. Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath, 2011. "Re-examining Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 228-232, October.
    7. Yasuyuki SAWADA & Fauziah ZEN, 2014. "Disaster Management in ASEAN," Working Papers DP-2014-03, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
    8. Paul Mosley & Blessing Chiripanhura, 2009. "Liberalisation and poverty in Africa since 1990-Why is the operation of the 'invisible hand' uneven?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(6), pages 749-756.
    9. Yasuyuki Sawada, 2014. "Japan's Strategy for Economic Cooperation with Asian Countries," Public Policy Review, Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance Japan, vol. 10(1), pages 53-76, March.
    10. Admasu Shiferaw, 2016. "Constraints to Private Investment in a High-Growth Environment: Firm-level Evidence from Ethiopia," Working Papers 168, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Africa; growth;

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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