Thursday, May 26, 2011

Coining the Acronym BRICA – Adding Africa's Name to World Regions & Economies in Economic Boom!

A FEEEDS® Series Blogspot (

We have all heard it! We have all read about it! Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) is in an economic boom, so let’s recognize it as so! Thus, FEEEDS® is coining today, on May 25, 2011, Africa Liberation Day, the acronym BRICA. Hence, adding Africa's name to the abbreviation of world economies and regions where economic growth, and other impact indicators - investment, foreign direct investment (FDI), high GDP’s - are collectively outpacing other areas -- even some of those identified in the current BRICS. Although South Africa is included in BRICS, let’s recognize all 17 economies in SSA that have put the Continent on the front economic and investment burner. Many (certainly not all) of the 17 SSA economies contributing to the good news, also had good governance and political stability on top of good macroeconomic reports (i.e. Rwanda was recently named the best world reformer by the World Bank). So, what are the facts! Here is a good checklist underscoring why the “A” must be added to any acronym discussing booming economic growth regions. So move over BRICS, and Welcome BRICA!

SSA’s Collective GDP & Other Growth Factors of Key Countries on the Move:

• McKinsey Global Institute noted that the collective GDP of SSA in 2010 was $1.6 trillion, with GDP’s in individual SSA countries up 4-5 per cent (;

• Debt dropped Continent-wide from 82% to 59% of GDP over last 5 years;

• Inflation dropped Continent-wide from 22% to 8%;

• Growing SSA’s middle class is approximately 331 million today, translating into growing consumers with purchasing power (Financial Times;

• In 2025, SSA will have approximately 1.1 billion people of working age (**World Bank speech 5/25/11).

• Average projected collective growth rate for 2012 is @ 6-7 per cent; Financial Times 5/19/11 article forecasts 7 per cent growth over next 20 years;

• Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projected to rise from $41 billion in 2010 to 48.5 billion by year’s end, with FDI estimates for 2015 projected @ $150 billion (**World Bank speech, 5/25/2011);

• Single digit inflation for most of the 17 SSA growth countries;

• Diaspora remittances reportedly high over last 5 years adding to GDP, according to informal channels. NB: Data hard to confirm. SSA reportedly accounts for 73 per cent of world-wide remittances as of 2005 (;

• Improved infrastructure and market liberalization added to growth;

• Key areas of non-oil investment: Information, Communication, Technology or ICT, SSA has 500 million cell phone users, with Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and Ghana topping the list (, Infrastructure Development, Housing Construction, Agriculture, and, Manufacturing;

• What 2 countries are investing the most FDI in SSA today?
1.) China (infrastructure)
2.) India (ICT & manufacturing & India is fourth largest SSA trading partner).

A Few of the Countries on the Move – What’s Their Current Reported GDP?

By percentage rates for 2010 GDP’s of 5% or above (From- & Global Finance Country Reports -

Angola – 9 *
Botswana – 9 (maintained high growth rate for last 10-15 years)
Democratic Republic of Congo – 7.2*
Ethiopia – 8
Ghana – 7 *
Gambia - 5
Malawi – 6.6
Mozambique – 6.5
Niger – 7.5
Nigeria – 8*
Liberia – 5.1
Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) – 9*
Rwanda – 6.5
Seychelles – 6.2
Tanzania – 6.5
Uganda – 5.1
Zambia – 7.6
Zimbabwe – 5.9

In sum, SSA is not only growing faster than Asia, with 6 out of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies on the Continent, but investment, business, and 331 million new consumers have spurred the region forward. This does not mean that everything is fine. Good governance, transparency, development (particularly in agriculture), and anti-corruption still need to improve in many countries on (and off) the list. In addition a number of the same countries noted above, also lag behind on reaching the all-important 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MGDs) in the remaining 4 years, particularly in health, education, and gender empowerment.

Although, FEEEDS® is coining the more inclusive BRICA acronym, the positive economic growth factoids noted above do not exclude the importance and need to address the other pillars of democracy -- good governance, transparency, anti-corruption efforts, respect for human rights, and social sector reform. Not all the countries on the economic growth list have addressed (or begun to address) these other key democracy issues. However, they will need to in order to maintain the projected positive economic forecasts for the long term, but more fundamentally it is what the people of this great Continent deserve. In addition, friends of Africa hope that many more SSA countries turn the economic corner, along side of greatly improving their democratic landscape. On the flip side, however, businesses from countries (e.g. U.S.) other than Brazil, India, and China are certainly missing out on Africa’s Rising.

*NB: Oil prices add to higher GDP’s of oil producing countries. **World Bank VP for Africa Speech 5/25/11