News / Economy

Africa Shows Increasing Economic Growth, Says Ex-Belgium PM

Former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt during a media conference in Brussels, March 6, 2012.Former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt during a media conference in Brussels, March 6, 2012.
x
Former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt during a media conference in Brussels, March 6, 2012.
Former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt during a media conference in Brussels, March 6, 2012.
Peter Clottey
Belgium’s former prime minister says the launch of Forbes Afrique magazine is an indication of dramatic economic growth under way in Africa.

Guy Verhofstadt, who is also leader of the Liberals and Democrats in the European parliament, said there are strong indications of a growing middle class, which he said, is good for the continent.

“If you look to the figures you will see that Africa is growing now in the last 10 years with an average of more or less six percent every year,” Verhofstadt said. “You see also a growing middle class, an emerging middle class.”

“It’s that Africa shall be in the center of the challenges of the future -- economic challenges, challenges of security and also geo-political challenges.”

Verhofstadt’s comments follow the recent launch of the Forbes magazine in the Congo Republic’s capital, Brazzaville.

Officials of Forbes Afrique say issues of the magazine will include individual stories reflecting Africa’s economic success, profiles of business leaders and rankings of the top performing new or established companies.        
                       
Verhofstadt hailed the launch of the Forbes Afrique magazine.

“It’s very important that the editor at Forbes has taken the decision to make a special edition for Africa,” Verhofstadt said, adding that Africa represents the future, “economically and politically.”

According to officials, the Forbes Afrique magazine  will be distributed in 23 Francophone African countries including: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Comoros, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Gabon, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Niger, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo , Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Chad and Togo.

Verhofstadt said that for Africa to succeed, it should form more equitable relationships with Europe, including more economic assistance to African nations.

“There is also a need for economic reforms in Africa, for judicial certainty and there is also need for consideration of property rights in Africa,” he said. “All these are necessary if we want to see a better economic outlook for the future.”

China recently said it would offer $20 billion in new loans to Africa, which is double the amount the Asian country agreed to lend to the African countries in 2009.

Analysts say if China continues to be Africa’s largest trading partner, the trend could soon undermine trade relations between the continent and European countries, which they said, could negatively impact European economies. 

Verhofstadt also noted China’s growing influence in Africa, and noted there could be negative consequences.

 “We see more and more influence of the Chinese in a number of countries with a number of good results but also a number of bad results with some dangers… These policies of the Chinese are creating the danger that there [are] new debts that shall emerge in Africa,” said Verhofstadt.

Verhofstadt underscores the need for European countries to foster stronger relations with Africa.

 “The best strategy that we can follow as Europeans is to combine our forces…,” he said. “What should be better is to make a global package to the different countries of Africa… If we could combine all these -- aid, money and programs -- then you should have a good alternative [to] the policies followed by the Chinese [in Africa].”

Verhofstadt called on African countries to invest in good governance since he said that appears to be the problem the continent faces. He said the current growth Africa enjoys could better.

“Six percent growth in Africa is not bad, but it could be 10 percent, a double-digit growth, if there was more democracy and if there was more transparency and more democratic accountability,” he said.

Clottey interview with Guy Verhofstadt, Belgium’s former prime minister
Clottey interview with Guy Verhofstadt, Belgium’s former prime minister i
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Humanitarian
August 24, 2012 1:05 PM
Guy really needs to do some research and stay in Zimbabwe to catch up on some real people issues which have eluded him apart from Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Somalia to mention a few, where numerous people have lost their lives and good governance "rings hollow" and magazines are just word print, with no real hope for those who so desparately need help, security, food, health care, education and employment
In Response

by: Julian Gumbs from: Atlanta, Georgia
August 26, 2012 7:35 PM
I truly understand your concerns of the inadequate services the continent provides as opposed to the European model. But, the continent has surged since 2007, when they went COUNTER European Aid, and IMF. Furthermore, China has forgiven 31 countries of their debt to China, furthermore, they have BOOTS on the ground. These former colonized countries didn't just appear on the World scene in 2000. They have been their before. As a humanitarian, why don't you just recognize them as a LOST cause and just leave, let them figure it out themselves. Guess what they did, circa 2012 25% debt reduction to IMF and the World Bank. Who would have EVER thought, the continent would have a BETTER balance budget than the Europeans.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8982
JPY
USD
121.07
GBP
USD
0.6376
CAD
USD
1.2215
INR
USD
63.612

Rates may not be current.