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People walk a market in Maiduguri, Nigeria. Nigeria is one of the 5 largest consumer markets in Africa. Photo: Aminu Abubakar/AFP/Getty Images

Consumer expenditures in Africa are expected to rise to $2.1 trillion by 2025 and $2.5 trillion by 2030, more than doubling the 2015 level, according to a recent study from the Brookings Institution.

Why it matters: Brookings' Landry Signé notes that African consumer purchases are some of the fastest growing in the world and will be lifted further by a burgeoning middle class.

  • "Household consumption has increased even faster than its gross domestic product (GDP) in recent years—and that average annual GDP growth has consistently outpaced the global average," he writes in Brookings' report on Africa.

By next year, Signé expects more than half of all African households to have some discretionary income. In the five largest consumer markets — Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, Morocco and Algeria — the African Development Bank estimates there will be 56 million middle-class households with disposable incomes of nearly $680 billion.

African consumers who are considered "better off than middle class," according to OECD standards, are expected to spend an additional $174 billion per year over the same period.

  • "At present, the middle class accounts for roughly one-third of the region’s population, but it is expanding so quickly that total consumer expenditure is expected to double by 2020," Signé writes in the report.

Emerging economies, including Asia, Latin America and Africa, are increasingly carrying the world's growth.

  • "About half of the world's fastest-growing economies will be located on the continent, with 20 economies expanding at an average rate of 5 percent or higher over the next five years, faster than the 3.6 percent rate for the global economy," Brahima Coulibaly, director of Brookings' Africa Growth Initiative, wrote in a recent paper.

But, but, but: Debt is a serious issue. Many of these countries are reliant on commodities, which may lose value as global growth slows, and many have never shouldered such a high level of debt.

  • Brookings says at least 14 African countries are either in debt distress or at high risk of debt distress, up from 6 countries just 5 years earlier. These countries currently have total debt of around $160 billion, of which $90 billion is external debt.

Go deeper: Relief then recession in South Africa

Go deeper

Perfect storm brewing for extreme politicians

Data: Axios research; Table: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Redistricting and a flood of departing incumbents are paving the way for more extreme candidates in this year's midterm elections.

Driving the news: At least 19 House districts in 12 states are primed to attract such candidates — hard partisans running in strongly partisan districts — according to an Axios analysis of districts as measured by the Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index (PVI).

Updated 4 hours ago - Technology

3D printing's next act: big metal objects

Chief Scientist Andy Bayramian makes modifications to the laser system on Seurat's 3D metal printer. Photo courtesy of Seurat Technologies.

A new metal 3D printing technology could revolutionize the way large industrial products like planes and cars are made, reducing the cost and carbon footprint of mass manufacturing.

Why it matters: 3D printing — also called additive manufacturing — has been used since the 1980s to make small plastic parts and prototypes. Metal printing is newer, and the challenge has been figuring out how to make things like large car parts faster and cheaper than traditional methods.

Updated 5 hours ago - Technology

Mayors see cryptocurrency as a way to address income inequality

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

At the U.S. Conference of Mayors' meeting in D.C. this week, there's buzz around the idea of giving cryptocurrency accounts to low-income people.

Why it matters: Cities have been experimenting with newfangled ways to address income inequality — like guaranteed income programs — and the latest wave of trials could involve paying benefits or dividends in bitcoin, stablecoin or other digital currencies.