I did not know many of the reports Peter S. Goodman alluded to in his January 27 article in The New York Times had come out until University of Colorado (CU) professor of Anthropology Laura Deluca drew my attention to them.
Deluca spends much of her time learning about the African continent and interacting with its citizens on the continent and in the diaspora through her teaching and travels.
In The New York Times article which she passed on to me via email the professor apparently was not impressed when the noted journalist and economist, Goodman went at length to provide all the statistics to make the point that “Every One of the World’s Big Economies Is Now Growing,” yet skipped statistics for the African continent in his reporting.
Writing for The New York Times, Goodman made meaning of recent trends, coupled with reports from the International Monetary Fund(IMF), Price Water House Coopers, the European Union (EU), and others, which pointed to improvements in the global economy just a few years removed from the great recession.
While Rwanda and South Africa were mentioned in the report, it was not because of any statistical notations that contributed to the worldwide economic trends. What was missing, which apparently pissed Deluca, was Goodman’s failure to give statistics for the African continent, similar to what was said about the other regions of the world.
Deluca said it was is an exciting report about the growth of the world’s economies but called it “s##hole economics.”
Deluca’s use of the derogatory term was apparently in reference to U.S. President Donald Trump’s alleged use of the same negative language to describe African and Caribbean nations during a January meeting with congressional leaders.
So I sought permission from Deluca to publish her reactions on Africa News Matters as follows:
“Why are African countries completely excluded from this reporting? Is this omission a “Heart of Darkness” or a “S***hole” stereotype? No African growth rates appear on the global map of “worldwide expansion” that accompanies Goodman’s article and includes the United States, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, and Asia. Did the Bureau of Labor Statistics accidentally overlook a whole continent?
Several of the fastest-growing economies in the world are on the African continent. Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Angola are top performers. In fact, Ethiopia is slated as the fastest-growing economy in 2017. Its GDP grew by 8.3% in 2017. South Africa is part of the BRIC, a term coined by Goldman Sachs’s chair, in reference to Brazil, Russia, India, and China, a group recognized as newly advanced economies. More than half of the global population growth between now and 2050 will occur in Africa. Economists who overlook the more than 50 countries on the African continent are gravely mistaken.”