In this interview, Padraig talks about how the outbreak of the disease fits in with reports about Africa now being the fastest growing continental economy globally. In discussing “Africa Rising”, Padraig states that “Africa is said to be “rising”. However, Liberia has a mere 90 doctors and Sierra Leone is reported to have around 120. Sierra Leone has one of the world’s fastest growing economies…. yet its per capita income is only around US $680 a year. There are a few points to take away from this: 1) Growth has been largely driven by mineral exports and, consequently, it has not been sufficiently inclusionary, and 2) it is relatively easy to grow an economy quickly when you begin from a lowly base.”
Padraig also discusses how growth rates experienced are often highly unequally distributed, “So, is the “Africa Rising” discourse really justified? Who is the continent rising for, and what is it rising towards? And, what does the ebola outbreak tell us about this narrative? Will the “market” solve the challenge of African development?”
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