Editor’s Corner

This is the question policymakers and economists have been grappling with, as optimism grows that the continent’s economy is headed for recovery after a slowdown in 2009. The World Bank argues that after the Independence generation, in which the continent faced harsh facts and choices, Africa could be on the brink of an economic take off, similar to what China and India experienced 30 and 20 years ago, respectively.

According to the theory developed by American economic historian, W W Rostow, countries pass through five stages of economic development: the traditional society (dominated by subsistence activity); transitional stage or preconditions for take-off (increased savings and investments); take-off (industrialisation increases); drive to maturity (diversification of the economy); and high mass consumption (the last stage where consumer industries flourish).