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S.Africa says Nigeria growth jump show Africa is rising

South Africa welcomed on Monday new growth figures showing that Nigeria has overtaken it as the continents biggest economy, saying they indicate that Africa is rising.

The recalculation of output by Nigeria showed that the economy of the country, Africa’s most populous nation, grew to $453 billion in 2012, compared with South Africa’s $384 billion, according to the World Bank.

“The announcement gives concrete expression to the fact that Africa is indeed rising,” said the ministry of finance.

The new data was boosted by the contribution of new industries such as mobile telephones, music and the film industry.

According to Pretoria, South African firms played a “big role in the growth and development” of some of Nigeria’s growing industries like retail and telecoms.

Shoprite, South Africa’s largest grocer and Vodacom are some of the companies with a presence in Nigeria.

It said the South African government and the private sector “continue to play no small a part in the growth and development of the continent”.

Nigeria last updated its gross domestic product figures in 1990.

While South Africa’s economy continues to attract modest growth, with a 2.7-percent expansion forecast for this year, Nigeria estimates for 2013 indicated further expansion to $510 billion, according to official statistics.

Dogged by low productivity and high unemployment rates, South Africa’s growth lags behind many of the world’s developing economies.

However, the oil-rich west African country with a 170 million population is battling poor infrastructure and endemic corruption.