african infrastructure Mimi Mollica/Getty Images

Un Gran Bono para África

LAGOS – Los países del África subsahariana han alcanzado un punto crítico. Como resultado de la caída de los precios de las materias primas y de la desaceleración económica de China, el crecimiento de la región cayó a 3,4% en 2015 -casi el 50% menos que la tasa promedio en los 15 años anteriores-. La tasa de crecimiento estimada para 2016 es menor que la tasa de crecimiento demográfico de alrededor del 2%, lo que implica una contracción per capita del PIB.

Un crecimiento económico sostenido es esencial para mantener el progreso en materia de reducción de la pobreza, mortalidad infantil, enfermedades y desnutrición. También es la única manera de crear suficientes empleos de calidad para la pujante población joven de África -la de más rápido crecimiento en el mundo-. Como observó Gerd Müller, el ministro de Desarrollo de Alemania, en una conferencia de prensa reciente, "Si los jóvenes de África no encuentran trabajo o un futuro en sus propios países, no serán cientos de miles sino millones los que se dirigirán a Europa".

Una manera de sostener el crecimiento y crear empleos sería colaborar en la planificación e implementación de un incremento masivo en la inversión en infraestructura en toda África. La infraestructura pública es particularmente importante. Esto incluye autopistas, puentes y vías férreas que unan a los productores rurales en países mediterráneos con los consumidores urbanos y los mercados externos de África; un tránsito masivo e infraestructura de Internet para satisfacer la mayor actividad comercial, y líneas de transmisión de electricidad que integren las centrales y las grillas eléctricas financiadas con capital privado.

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