A study published this week by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) finds that eight of the 12 fastest-growing economies in Africa in recent years did not rely on natural resources. Together these economies grew more quickly even than the group of oil producers.
To discover what lay behind this success, IMF researchers focused on countries that met two criteria: GDP growth of at least 5% a year on average from 1995 to 2010, and growth in GDP per head of at least 3% a year. Six countries qualified: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda (see chart). They are a diverse bunch. Mozambique and Tanzania have ports; the rest are landlocked. Ethiopia has a population of 87m; Rwanda 11m. What they have in common is poverty. Even after their growth spurt none has an average income per head above $1,500 a year.
You can also read the full IMF report on-line here.