A Stable Economy for Africa

Gary Becker and Richard Posner weigh in on African development, which has weathered the current economic storm better than any advanced economy. Will Africa finally take off?

Gary Becker and Richard Posner weigh in on African development, which has weathered the current economic storm better than any advanced economy. Will Africa finally take off? Becker, a Nobel Laureate, is optimistic: "Several factors explain why Africa’s future looks rather bright. Probably number one is the continuing discovery in Africa of minerals and fossil fuels that are demanded by China, India, and other countries as world economic growth picks up." Judge Posner is more pessimistic: "Levels of education and health are very low in sub-Saharan African countries; life expectancy is low and is actually declining; productivity is very low; fertility though declining remains very high; poverty of course is widespread; ethnic conflict (often violent) and political violence are common; corruption is endemic; opportunities for women are meager. These impediments to economic growth will probably change very slowly because they are deeply rooted in African culture. And the rest of the world will not stand still while they change."

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