Africa’s Quiet Revolution

Margaret McMillan and Kenneth Harttgen

in The Oxford Handbook of Africa and Economics

Published in print July 2015 | ISBN: 9780199687107
Published online December 2014 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Economics

Africa’s Quiet Revolution

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This chapter examines Africa’s structural transformation, from its prolonged period of weak economic growth since the 1970s to the period of stronger growth over the past decade. It first describes the nature of structural change in Africa over the period 1960–2010 and compares structural change in Africa to that in other regions such as East Asia and Latin America over the same time period, paying particular attention to average incomes and level of employment shares across sectors including agriculture, manufacturing, and industry. It then considers evidence showing that structural change contributed positively to economic growth in Africa between 1960 and 1975, but negatively between 1975 and 2000 and positively again between 2000 and 2010. The chapter also reflects on the “data problem” and describes an empirical approach for understanding structural change in Africa.

Keywords: Africa; structural change; economic growth; East Asia; Latin America; incomes; employment; agriculture; manufacturing; data problem

Article.  10076 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Economic Development and Growth ; Economic History

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