Saturday, May 21, 2011

Are one in three Africans really middle class?

Middle class South Africans in Johannesburg's Soweto township.

There's an interesting article on the CNN site about the growing middle class sector in Africa. You can read the whole story here.  A report released last week by the African Development Bank (AFDB) said that Africa's middle class -- defined as people spending between $2 and $20 a day at 2005 prices -- increased to 34.3% of the continent's population in 2010 -- nearly 313 million

I question this whole study being based on the notion of being spending $2 to $25 a day. Sounds a bit silly to define that as middle class no? Notwithstanding the basis of the survey, there are indeed folks in Africa that seem to be indeed living the life. I just got back from South Africa a few months back and I find it highly probable that the middle class is growing. I saw many luxury cars on the roads, people dressed in the finest clothing and plenty of people living a very comfortable life. Emphasis on the word very in the previous sentence. I would be amiss not to mention the large and disproportionate  gap between the have's and have nots. Africa still has a ways to go in that regard.

So talk me, have you been to Africa or are you planning on going there? What's your take on the growing middle class?

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