Young South African girl.

Relanzar el crecimiento sudafricano

JOHANNESBURGO – Una paradoja de la veloz expansión económica de África subsahariana es el hecho de que la economía más sofisticada de la región no parece ser parte de ella. Desde 2008, Sudáfrica registra un crecimiento anual promedio del PIB de apenas 1,8%, menos de la mitad del índice de los cinco años anteriores. El Fondo Monetario Internacional prevé que la producción en el resto de África subsahariana crezca a un ritmo cercano al 5% el año próximo, pero en el caso de Sudáfrica se proyecta un poco más del 1%. Para colmo, la tasa de desempleo del país (más de 25%) es una de las más altas del mundo.

Sudáfrica necesita recuperar la iniciativa económica, y el medio para ello es (literalmente) construir el África del futuro. Los países de todo el continente están construyendo a toda prisa las rutas, los puertos, las centrales de energía, las escuelas y los hospitales que necesitarán para sostener el crecimiento y satisfacer las necesidades de una población que crece rápidamente y se urbaniza. Y lo que más necesitan es experiencia.

Pero aunque Sudáfrica cuenta con sectores muy capaces en arquitectura, construcción e ingeniería, su participación actual en los proyectos de construcción extranjeros en África subsahariana es solo 7%, contra el 32% en el caso de China. Según el McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), un esfuerzo coordinado de las empresas de construcción, los bancos, las instituciones financieras y los ministerios sudafricanos (en asociación con sus homólogos de otros países africanos) puede triplicar esta cifra, con la posibilidad de crear 80 000 nuevos empleos locales derivados de la exportación de servicios de construcción de aquí a 2030.

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