Embarrassing? How long it takes China to create the equivalent of an African economy

China would take more than a month to create the equivalent of economies in just six African countries; for others just days or hours.

GREECE requested a new euro 29 billion bailout deal from the Eurozone, just hours before missing a deadline to pay $1.8 billion to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expires.

In so doing, Greece became the first developed country to miss a debt payment to the IMF, putting it on the same list as nations like Zimbabwe, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

A referendum on Sunday will ask Greeks whether they want to accept the tough austerity conditions creditors have are demanding in exchange for continued loans, and some say it is essentially a vote on where to stay with the Euro. Regardless of how the vote goes, Greece is in for a tough time ahead.

If Greece exits the common currency, it is likely to have a knock on effect not just on Europe, but on the global economy as well, and Greece’s creditors such as the European Central Bank would face immediate losses.

Still, Greece makes up just 2% of the Eurozone economy, so comparatively small that Jim O’Neill, former head of economics at Goldman Sachs, once calculated that China created an economy the size of Greece every three months.

Between 2012 and 2013, China’s economy grew by $1 trillion, from $8.2 trillion to 9.2 trillion. 

We apply the same calculation for African countries using data from the World Bank, and see how long China takes to create economies equivalent to African countries’ (all 2013 figures).

China would take more than a month to create economies in just six countries - Angola, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, South Africa and Nigeria. But for the majority of countries, China creates the equivalent of their economy in weeks, days, and for some, even hours. Some of the numbers might be embarrassing for good Africans.

CountryGDP ($ billion, 2013)China’s equivalent time to create 
Algeria2102.5 months
Angola1241.4 months
Benin8.33 days
Botswana 14.75.4 days
Burkina Faso12.84.7 days
Burundi2.71 day
Cape Verde1.816 hours
Cameroon29.51.5 weeks
Central African Republic 
1.513 hours
Chad13.55 days
Comoros0.65.3 hours
Congo, Dem. Rep32.61.7 weeks
Congo, Rep14.05.1 days
Cote d’Ivoire31.01.6 weeks
Djibouti1.412.4 hours
Egypt2713.2 months
Equatorial Guinea15.55.7 days
Eritrea3.41.2 days
Ethiopia47.52.4 weeks
Gabon19.31 week
Gambia0.98 hours
Ghana48.12.5 weeks
Guinea6.12.2 days
Guinea-Bissau0.98 hours
Kenya55.22.8 weeks
Lesotho2.320 hours
Liberia1.916.8 hours
Libya74.13.8 weeks
Madagascar10.63.9 days
Malawi3.71.3 days
Mali10.94 days
Mauritania4.11.5 days
Mauritius
11.94.4 days
Morocco103.81.2 months
Namibia13.14.8 days
Niger7.42.7 days
Nigeria5216.2 months
Rwanda7.52.7 days
Senegal14.75.4 days
Seychelles1.412 hours
Sierra Leone4.11.5 days
South Africa3664.3 months
South Sudan11.84.3 days
Swaziland3.71.3 days
Sudan66.53.4 weeks
Tanzania43.62.2 weeks
Togo4.31.5 days
Tunisia46.92.4 weeks
Uganda24.71.2 weeks
Zambia26.81.3 weeks
Zimbabwe13.44.9 days

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