Charts of the week: Africa data

Flags, Africa

Three charts highlighting trends and data related to Brookings research on sub-Saharan Africa. For more analysis and commentary on this topic, visit the Africa Growth Initiative, and also visit AGI’s weekly series “Africa in Focus Figures of the Week.”


In a report on Africa’s consumer market potentialLandry Signé notes that while income growth and labor productivity have been increasing in Africa in recent years, per-capita income levels remain below all other regions.

Chart: Income levels in world's developing regions


IN 2017 sub-Saharan Africa’s MVA was about $145 billion

Signé, who is a David M. Rubenstein Fellow in the Global Economy and Development Program at Brookings, also studied the potential of manufacturing and industrialization in Africa. In that report, he calls attention to some “worrying trends,” including low manufacturing value added in Africa compared to the rest of the world. However, he notes, “manufacturing in Africa has grown 3.5 percent annually from 2005 to 2014—faster than it has in the rest of the world.”

Chart: regional comparison of manufacturing value added

In 2019, about 70 percent of the world’s poor will live in Africa

Homi Kharas, Kristofer Hamel, and Martin Hofer, writing on the reduction of extreme poverty worldwide, say that “the good news is that 2019 will start with the lowest prevalence of extreme poverty ever recorded in human history—less than 8 percent.” However, the reduction rate is slowing, and Africa’s share is rising. “However,” the authors add, “there is light at the end of the tunnel. In 2019, for the first time since the enactment of the [Sustainable Development Goals], Africa will start reducing the absolute number of people living in extreme poverty, albeit very modestly.”