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The South African President Says that a Robust Middle Class is Essential for Africa Too


Portuguese Translation of the Week

The President of South Africa argued today (July 25) that the consolidation of a middle class will be fundamental for Africa's economic growth, claiming that these millions of citizens will provide experience and knowledge to the world's poorest continent.

"Despite the fact that six of the ten fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa, we still have extreme poverty and inequality in many regions of the continent" stated Jacob Zuma in a conference organized by Forbes Magazine in Brazzaville, Congo. He added that the consolidation of a strong middle class will drive sustained economic growth.

" A consolidação de uma classe média será fundamental para o crescimento económico de África, defendeu hoje (quinta-feira) o presidente da África do Sul, argumentando que estes milhões de cidadãos darão experiência e conhecimentos ao continente mais pobre do mundo.

"Apesar de seis das dez economias com mais rápido crescimento económico estarem em África, ainda temos pobreza extrema e desigualdades significativas em muitas partes do continente", disse Jacob Zuma numa conferência organizada pela revista Forbes em Brazzaville, no Congo, acrescentando que é a solidificação de uma classe média que vai impulsionar de forma sustentada o crescimento da economia."

This article has been translated from Portuguese. Click here to read the original version on Angop 

According to the South African president, the existence of a middle class that encompasses 350 of 875 million Africans (estimated by the World Bank), will be fundamental since these citizens will contribute with knowledge, skills and experiences to manage the economic and human development of the least developed continent in the world.

Among the countries with a large middle class are South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, and Angola, keeping in mind that the "middle class" being considered here was defined by McKinsey & Company, which incorporates families with a household income above USD$20,000 per year.

To achieve a greater middle class, the president of South Africa believes a greater contribution of the private sector is necessary, particularly through partnerships, which was recently defended by the World Bank in a report about African development, especially in the large-term infrastructure projects, which should have investments of up to 360 million euros until 2040.

"I want to encourage representatives of the private sector who are present here today, especially those in Africa, to become more involved in the development of infrastructure in the continent, because the benefits are immense. The establishment of strategic links between Africa and multinational companies will be very useful in the transfer of skills, knowledge, and technology," concluded the official from South Africa at the 2013 Africa Forum, in the Congo.

Article translated by Anna Cardenas, Staff Intern for the Brazil Institute at the Wilson Center

Photo attibuted to GovernmentZA on Flickr Commons

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