/ 17 January 2012

Africa sees positive economic growth in 2011

Africa saw good economic results in 2011 with average growth of between 5.5% and 6.0%, African Union (AU) commission chairperson Jean Ping said on a visit to Libya on Monday.

“Africa progressed on average between five and a half and 6%. We are nearly at 6%, and seven countries are between seven and 11%,” he said on his first trip to Tripoli since Muammar Gaddafi’s fall.

“The news is good, not to say excellent, at a time when the world is going through difficult times,” Ping said.

“Hope is returning, to the extent that some are calling Africa the continent of the future.”

On the political level, Ping said 2011 was a difficult year for Africa, citing the conflicts in Libya, Côte d’Ivoire and Somalia, as well as humanitarian crisis caused by the drought in the Horn of Africa.

The AU only recognised Libya’s new leaders in September, after having failed to assert itself as a mediator in the conflict between rebels and Gaddafi, who was a founder of the pan-Arab organisation.

The rebels, who had the support of Nato, turned down AU appeals for dialogue with the Gaddafi regime. — AFP