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AFRICANGLOBE - In 1999 Sudan began exporting oil. A decade-long economic boom transformed Khartoum and Sudan as a whole – and vastly expanded the size of the middle class. Businessmen, property developers and contractors in the oil industry joined doctors and engineers (both particularly highly regarded in Sudanese society) in the swelling ranks of the reasonably well-off.
AFRICANGLOBE - The rise in Africa’s middle class has been over-hyped in recent years, but it is still a genuine phenomenon that is generating huge commercial and political opportunities, a new study says.
AFRICANGLOBE - Two years ago the African Development Bank estimated that Africa’s middle class reached nearly 350 million in 2010, amounting to a third of the continent’s population, or about the same size as its Chinese and Indian counterparts. That figure compares with about 126 million, or 27 per cent, of the population in 1980.
AFRICANGLOBE - Many of the people who go around talking about President Obama hasn’t done anything for the poor and middle class generally break...
A rainbow nation of shoppers poured through the racks of fashion giant Zara's brand new store, its first in South Africa, where the Spanish chain hopes to tap an increasingly diverse middle class. With deliveries from Spain twice a week, the low-price retailer opened the store in November in a posh shopping mall in South Africa's commercial hub, Johannesburg, where officials are already smiling over the response.
Don Buckley lost his job driving a Chicago Transit Authority bus almost two years ago and has been looking for work ever since, even as other municipal bus drivers around the country are being laid off. At 34, Mr. Buckley, his two daughters and his fiancée have moved into the basement of his mother’s house. He has had to delay his marriage, and his entire savings, $27,000, is gone. “I was the kind of person who put away for a rainy day,” he said recently. “It’s flooding now.”
A new detailed survey and report on Nigeria's expanding middle class, issued by the leading emerging markets investment bank, Renaissance Capital, has portrayed Nigeria as a nation that is optimistic about economic growth, values entrepreneurship and is well positioned to capitalise on a boom in consumption.