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Despite Many Depressing Headlines, Africa’s Economy And Middle Class Are Surging

December 25, 2011: 02:22 AM EST
Economic growth is the watchword in Africa, supported by a burgeoning of a middle class that now comprises 313 million people – 34 percent of the population and triple the level of 30 years ago. Optimistic developers and entrepreneurs are reshaping Africa’s infrastructure to accommodate the new spending power, despite gloomy headlines in 2011 about revolution in north Africa and famine in Somalia. Since 2001, six of the world's 10 fastest-growing countries were African. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says Africa’s economy will grow 6 percent this year and again in 2012, about the same as Asia. One of the more remarkable examples of Africa’s booming economy is Nigeria, where GDP quintupled from $46 billion in 2000 to $248 billion in 2011.
David Smith and Lucy Lamble Tunis, "Africa's burgeoning middle class brings hope to a continent", The Guardian (London), December 25, 2011, © Guardian News and Media Limited
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