African middle class rising: report


A third of all Africans are now classified as middle class. Their incomes allow them to inhabit an economic bracket that is variously defined, but by any definition is growing, African Review reports.
With this growth comes greater political clout, as larger numbers of Africans with possessions from cars to homes to stock portfolios seek social stability and good governance to ensure the continuing comfort of their lifestyles. For a continent long perceived as economically challenged, the rise of an African middle class represents laudable progress. According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), 34 percent of Africa’s 326 million people were earning middle class incomes in 2010, compared to 27 per cent of Africans in 2000.
The past decade’s increase in the number of middle class Africans continues a decades-long trend. A generation ago, in 1980, 70 percent of Africans lived in poverty and only a quarter could be considered middle-class.