African Economy Remains Vulnerable Despite Continuous Growth

July 31, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. stagnation [stag-NEY-shuh n] (n.) – the state of not growing, progressing, or improving
Example: Many businesses are not showing profit improvement because of the country’s reported stagnation.

2. get hammered [get HAM-erd] (idiom)  – to repeatedly suffer defeats and damages
 Example: The local economy has been getting hammered by its international competitors.

3. rebound [RI-bound, REE-BOUND] (v.) – to recover from a bad situation
Example: With higher GDP, the country’s economy rebounded from last year’s recession.

4. roadblock [ROHD-blok] (n.) – anything that stops progress
Example: The lack of skilled workers might become a roadblock to the country’s future development.

5. transparency [trans-PAIR-uh n-see] (n.) – the state of being open and clear
Example: Good governance requires transparency in all state operations.


Read the text below.

An economic report predicts that Africa will continuously grow in the next couple of years; however, it warns unsure sustainability.

The UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Union Commission (AUC) recently presented the said report. The report shows that after two decades of stagnation, the region has been experiencing significant economic growth.

After getting hammered by the global financial crisis and the rising costs of food and fuel towards the end of the last decade, Africa recovered with an impressive growth rate of 4.6% in 2010. The growth went down in 2011 because of political conflicts in North Africa but quickly rebounded to 5% in 2012.

According to Joseph Barichaco of the UNECA, the growth comes from a strong domestic demand for commodities, rising incomes and public spending, urbanization, and foreign investment.

However, the study warns that despite economic growth, the continent's dependence on exports could eventually become a roadblock. African nations also need to resolve the increasing unequal distribution of wealth and the corrupt system. According to Barichaco, corruption and the huge gap between the rich and the poor have caused unequal wealth distribution in the continent.

One official suggested that the industry needs transparency so people can know what they can get from their own land resources. This way, the Africans can benefit equally from the economic growth in the region.

Baricacho also believes that the region needs to invest in factories and refineries to create new products from its abundant raw materials. In turn, these measures can result in a more stable growth.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think that Africa can become as successful as the rest of the world? Why or why not?
·         In your opinion, can the rest of the world benefit from a successful African economy? Discuss with your tutor.

Discussion B

·         Do you think that successful and prosperous countries have a responsibility to help the less successful ones? Why or why not?
·         In your opinion, what are the reasons behind the success of the world’s richest nations? Please explain your answer.


July 31, 2013