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In this 2011file photo, a Chinese contractor, foreground, points to a spot on a railway track for a labourer to work on in Lagos, Nigeria. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan will travel to China next week to sign off on $3-billion (U.S.) in Chinese loans to build infrastructure in Africa’s most populous country, the finance minister said on Wednesday.
In this 2011file photo, a Chinese contractor, foreground, points to a spot on a railway track for a labourer to work on in Lagos, Nigeria. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan will travel to China next week to sign off on $3-billion (U.S.) in Chinese loans to build infrastructure in Africa’s most populous country, the finance minister said on Wednesday.
(Sunday Alamba/AP)

ROBERT I. ROTBERG

Is Africa’s meteoric economic rise sustainable?

Sub-Saharan Africa is indeed rising. Thanks to Chinese demand for raw materials, especially petroleum and iron ore, much of Africa is growing (as measured by GDP per capita) at nearly 6 per cent per annum. Many of the globe’s fastest advancing countries are in Africa. But is this meteoric economic rise sustainable? Will African economies expand fast enough to deliver jobs, education and health services as their populations surge relentlessly?