An astonishing fact about Africa

LIONEL HEALING/AFP/Getty Images Stephan Faris argues in a great new piece for ForeignPolicy.com that Africa’s surprising growth over the last few years could end in tragedy. Want to know why? Read the piece to find out. But even if Africa does continue to grow in percentage terms, it’s still coming from a pretty low base. ...

600250_070801_africa_05.jpg
600250_070801_africa_05.jpg

LIONEL HEALING/AFP/Getty Images

Stephan Faris argues in a great new piece for ForeignPolicy.com that Africa's surprising growth over the last few years could end in tragedy. Want to know why? Read the piece to find out.

But even if Africa does continue to grow in percentage terms, it's still coming from a pretty low base.

LIONEL HEALING/AFP/Getty Images

Stephan Faris argues in a great new piece for ForeignPolicy.com that Africa’s surprising growth over the last few years could end in tragedy. Want to know why? Read the piece to find out.

But even if Africa does continue to grow in percentage terms, it’s still coming from a pretty low base.

The Economist illustrates just how pitiful Africa’s economy with this astonishing factoid (my emphasis): 

African markets are so undeveloped that the opportunity there is still quite small. According to Stanlib, a South African asset-management group, the market capitalisation of the whole continent is just $800 billion, of which South Africa itself makes up $600 billion. The rest of the continent’s markets, in other words, are worth a good deal less than Exxon Mobil. Put another way, China could buy every African quoted company with its foreign-exchange reserves.

(Hat tip: Tyler Cowen

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