|+ Africa's Development report launched
The African Union Commission (AUC) in collaboration with the OECD Development Centre has released Africa's Development Dynamics 2019, the second edition of the economic report that analyses the continent’s development policies.
African firms are key to the economic transformation of the continent, but they need governments to create better conditions for them to thrive, say the authors of the report. Without bold policy changes, most African businesses may not be ready to reap the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area Africa (AfCFTA) which is projected to offer African firms access to 1.2 billion consumers across the continent.
Africa's Development Dynamics (AfDD) 2019, just released, shows that Africa recorded 4.6% annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth between 2000 and 2018; with domestic demand accounting for 69% of it. The continent’s growth should remain robust at 3.9% between 2020 and 2023. The regional demand for processed food has been growing 1.5 times faster than the global average. Large Pan-African firms and some dynamic start-ups are seizing these opportunities to grow.
However, the report finds that Africa needs more dynamic enterprises to turn these opportunities into higher profits, more investment and new, decent jobs. This is especially true of small and medium enterprises in employment-intensive sectors.
“Accelerating the development of Africa’s productive sectors is critical to meeting the objectives of the African Union’s Agenda 2063. We must shake the structure of our economies to create strong, robust and inclusive growth, with new jobs and opportunities for all”, said Professor Victor Harison, Commissioner for Economic Affairs of the AUC.
Progress in quality job creation is too slow: in some countries, almost 91% of the workforce outside of the agricultural sector remains in informal and vulnerable employment.
“The entry into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area in 2019 marks a strong commitment by African leaders towards productive transformation. But it will work if African firms are strong enough to compete in this new, enlarged market. They need bolder and smarter government policies to support them”, stated Mario Pezzini, Director of the OECD Development Centre and Special Advisor to the OECD Secretary-General on Development.
The report provides detailed analysis and recommendations for each of the five African regions.