Strategies and Priorities for African Agriculture

Economywide Perspectives from Country Studies

Xinshen Diao, James Thurlow, Samuel Benin, Shenggen Fan
ifpri issue brief

The 2000s were Africa’s “decade of growth.” Countries in Africa south of the Sahara reached milestones in the 21st century’s first decade that once seemed impossible, achieving improved governance, macroeconomic stability, and sustained economic growth that exceeded the region’s performance in previous decades. Among the economic sectors that improved was agriculture, which grew 3.4 percent per year over 2001-2010, outpacing Africa’s population growth rate, which was 2.5 percent, for the first time in the last three decades. Nevertheless, the agricultural sector’s growth has lagged behind national economic growth in Africa.