Can Africa claim the 21st century? by Alan H. Gelb, World Bank

By Alan H. Gelb, World Bank

Africa within the twenty first Century bargains a entire evaluate of improvement customers in all the significant improvement sectors.

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And it will require better supportand perhaps more supportfrom the international development community. In facing these challenges, Africa has enormous unexploited potentialin resource-based sectors and in processing and manufacturing. It also has hidden growth reserves in its peopleincluding the potential of its women, who now provide more than half of the region's labor but lack equal access to education and factors of production. African economies can perform far better. The region has great scope for more effective use of its resourcespublic and private, financial and humanand much scope for improving the delivery of the essential services needed to upgrade the capabilities and health of its people and increase their opportunities.

Although the collaborating institutions endorse the main messages of the report, it does not necessarily reflect the official views of these institutions or of their boards of directors or affiliated institutions. ISBN: 0-8213-4495-1 Cover designed by Drew Fasick Photo credits for cover: World Bank Photo Library Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication (CIP) Data has been requested. 48-1984 Page v Contents Foreword x Acknowledgments xii Summary 1 1. Can Africa Claim the 21st Century? 7 The Challenge of African Development 7 Africa's Growth Crisis: A Retrospective 18 Where Is Africa Now?

The number of poor people has grown relentlessly, causing Africa's share of the world's absolute poor to increase from 25 to 30 percent in the 1990s. Because of high income inequality, Africa's poor are the poorest of the world's poor Many people lack the capabilitiesincluding health status, education, and access to basic infrastructureneeded to benefit from and contribute to economic growth. Health and life expectancy indicators are adverse, even taking into account low incomes: in many countries 200 of every 1,000 children die before the age of 5.

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