The Star (Nairobi)

Africa: Natural Resources to Drive Continent's Growth

THE African Development Bank has projected the continent will grow at 4.5 per cent this year and rise to 5.2 per cent in 2014, up from the 4.2 per cent reported in 2012.

This is on condition that the countries tap into their natural resource wealth, develop their infrastructure, education and create larger and more competitive markets.

The annual AfDB report released on Monday states that China, India and Brazil are consuming more and more of Africa's oil, commodities and manufactured goods.

The emerging economies are steadily eating into the lion's share of the African export market held by Europe and the United States as Africa seeks to push regional integration to improve its trading prospects, though the going has not been easy.

"Now is the time", said Mthuli Ncube, chief economist and vice- president at AfDB. "After 10 years of improved stability, sound macro-economic policies and blossoming trade links, growth has made African nations freer than ever to choose their own development paths and implement active policies for economic transformation." AfDB projects that external financial flows into Africa will hit $200 billion in 2013.

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