In recent decades there has indeed been significant progress in fighting poverty and promoting economic development in Africa. However, these processes have progressed much more slowly than in Asia. Moreover, economic and population growth has varied widely from country to country. In those countries which have achieved a comparatively high level of productivity and above-average economic growth, further progress in economic performance can be expected. Other countries, however, have a very low per capita GDP and sluggish, sometimes even shrinking, economic output. The groups of African countries defined here differ substantially in their economic structure, the quality of government activity, the available infrastructure and the level of education. Existing industrial production and relatively high export shares can be taken as a basis for further growth, especially as a sustained increase in economic output cannot be based solely on tourism or commodities. Important changes have been initiated in government functions and governance structures which will improve productivity and boost economic growth in Africa.