Apr 29
April 29, 2015

7 Trendlines You Might Not Know About Africa


“The world belongs to the creative cooperators. The headlines are dominated by constant conflict. Underneath the headlines, the trend lines are going in our direction. You must not be discouraged by the fact that doing good is not often considered good news.”

-President Bill Clinton

President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton are in Africa to visit Clinton Foundation projects this week. This trip will highlight many of the issues that President Clinton and Chelsea have long worked on – economic growth and empowerment, the full participation of women and girls, climate change, and health access – as well as the solutions that are inspiring real progress, in Africa and across the globe. We are using this moment to call broader attention to what’s working in the world and share our optimism about the future.

Here are some of the positive trends happening in Africa, and part of the reason why we are excited to continue our work in the region:

  1. The expansion of malaria interventions is saving millions of lives in Africa. Between 2000 and 2012, about 3.3 million deaths from malaria were averted—3 million of which were children under the age of five living in sub-Saharan Africa.*
  2. Carbon dioxide emissions in many countries across Africa are declining, though high levels in a few countries are cause for concern. And, between 2000 and 2011, more than half of all countries in Africa reduced their use of ozone-depleting substances by more than 50%.**
  3. Over the past 10 years, African economies were among the world’s fastest growing. As a whole, the continent experienced an average annual growth rate of more than 5%.***
  4. Africa is one of the fastest-growing regions in the world for Internet and mobile-broadband penetration rates. The rate of Internet use per 100 people in Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, and Sierra Leone grew by more than 40 percent between 2011 and 2012.  Across Africa, the number of mobile phone subscriptions grew by more than 2,500 percent between 2000 and 2012. In 2012, 74 out of every 100 people in Africa had a cell phone.**
  5. HIV/AIDS incidence rate and prevalence are down among adults in Africa. The incidence rate, which measures new HIV infections per year, declined from 0.85 to 0.32 from 1995–2012, and the prevalence, which measures the number of people living with HIV/AIDS, fell from 5.8 to 4.7 percent from 2000–2012.**
  6. Since 1990 there has been significant progress on children’s health in Africa. Continent-wide, the under-5 mortality rate has been nearly cut in half—down 45% between 1990 and 2012.**
  7. Agricultural production is on the rise. In Sub-Saharan Africa, crop production index increased more than 25% from 2005 to 2013.****

Learn more about our work and follow the trip at