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• Africa has grown at 8.7% CAGR in real GDP terms between 2000 and 2010, making it the second fastest growing continent in the world, only behind china-propelled emerging Asia. Third party forecasts suggest Africa will continue to grow very rapidly at c.5.5% CAGR to 2017
• Part of this rapid GDP growth relates to improved international trade and an accelerated pace of foreign direct investment, in particular from emerging super-powers such as China and Brazil. Many major multinational corporations invest in Africa, both in natural resources, infrastructure, goods and services. Large brands such as Unilever, Diageo and Parmalat have entered Africa’s consumer market
• There surely remain impediments to growth – road, rail infrastructure and power can be scarce, political instability and corruption are still widespread, regional integration is progressing only slowly but all these elements are improving and making long-lasting impacts
… has created a growing African middle class
• Africa’s contribution to global GDP remains small at 2.7% but growth experienced to 2010 has put total consumer spending in Africa ahead of Russia and equal to India, albeit fragmented across many countries
• Whilst there is a wide disparity among income levels across the continent, GDP growth is positively impacting individual earnings and private consumption, migrating an accelerating number of people into the African middle class – those spending between $2- and $20 a day

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