African Economic Outlook

OECD Development Centre

1999-1029 (online)
1995-3909 (print)
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This fact-filled annual reference book brings the reader the latest available economic information for most of the economies of Africa. Drawing on the expertise of both the African Development Bank and the OECD, it opens with an overview that examines the international environment, macroeconomic performance, progress towards attaining the Millennium Development Goals, and governance and political issues. The second part provides individual country reports for 30 countries. Each country report provides an assessment of recent economic performance, economic projections, an examination of structural issues, and a discussion of the political and social context. The statistical annex presents 24 tables comparing economic and social variables across all the countries of Africa.

Also available in French
African Economic Outlook 2015

African Economic Outlook 2015

Regional Development and Spatial Inclusion You do not have access to this content

OECD Development Centre

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25 May 2015
9789264233300 (PDF) ;9789264232822(print)

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The African Economic Outlook 2015 analyses Africa’s growing role in the world economy and predicts the continent’s two-year prospects in crucial areas: macroeconomics, financing, trade policies and regional integration, human development, and governance. This 14th edition analyses regional development and spatial inclusion challenges faced by the continent. A section of one-page notes summarises recent economic growth, forecasts gross domestic product for 2015 and 2016, and highlights the main policy issues facing each of the 54 African countries. A statistical annex compares country-specific economic, social and political variables.

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  • Foreword and acknowledgements

    The African Economic Outlook 2015 is the 14th edition of this annual report which results from a unique international collaboration. The African Development Bank, the OECD Development Centre and the United Nations Development Programme worked closely together to produce this report in its many forms. Over 100 researchers, economists and statisticians directly contributed their expertise. They drew data from national statistics offices, ministries, multilateral development institutions, investors, civil society and the media. CIRAD, the Agricultural Research Centre for International Development, helped draft this year’s thematic content on regional development and spatial inclusion.

  • Editorial

    Africa’s gross domestic product grew on average by 3.9% in 2014, compared to 3.3% globally, but with wide regional variations. Sub-Saharan Africa grew by 5.2% but by a percentage point higher when South Africa is excluded, indicating relatively robust growth despite global and regional headwinds, including depressed commodity prices and the Ebola epidemic. However, growth in North Africa remained sluggish at 1.7%, impacted by shrinkage of the Libyan economy by 20% as the conflict disrupted oil production. The sharp decline in commodity prices of the past few years will have mixed effects in the medium term, with oil-exporting countries registering weaker fiscal positions, while the lower cost of energy will boost consumer demand and competitiveness among net oil importers. Africa’s growth is forecast at 4.5% in 2015 and 5.0% in 2016, mainly owing to stronger growth among middle-income economies. Growth in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to average about 5% between 2015 and 2016.

  • Executive summary

    The African Economic Outlook 2015 reports favourably on the continent’s financial, social and governance indicators, predicting continued broad-based progress. The report examines in depth the challenge of unlocking Africa’s regional development for greater spatial inclusion. It suggests policy options to ensure that no one is left behind because of where they live.

  • Overview : Towards more inclusive, place-based development strategies in Africa

    Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth is expected to strengthen to 4.5% in 2015 and 5% in 2016 after subdued expansion in 2013 (3.5%) and 2014 (3.9%). The 2014 growth was about one percentage point lower than predicted in last year’s African Economic Outlook, as the global economy remained weaker and some African countries saw severe domestic problems of various natures. But the world economy is improving and if the AEO 2015 predictions are right, Africa will soon be closing in on the impressive growth levels seen before the 2008/09 global economic crisis.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Africa’s performance and prospects

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    • Africa's macroeconomic prospects

      Africa’s economic growth should strengthen to 4.5% in 2015 and 5% in 2016 close to levels seen before the 2008/09 global crisis. This chapter looks at the challenges Africa’s governments face as they take differing paths to recovery. It also highlights how lower oil and commodity prices, uncertain global conditions, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and domestic political uncertainties could still block the return to the strong pre-crisis growth levels. There is also a special look at Africa’s energy sector.

    • External financial flows and tax revenues for Africa

      This chapter analyses recent trends in external financial flows to Africa and tax revenue collection. It explores how the African finance landscape has changed in the past decade with a focus on the growing importance of private flows, such as foreign direct investment, portfolio investments and remittances, and the decline in official development assistance. Despite significant efforts to increase fiscal revenue these still fall short of needs.

    • Trade policies and regional integration in Africa

      Africa has long sought deeper economic integration, and this chapter looks at trends and issues in trade and politics with an impact on progress being made at regional and continental levels. The chapter also examines the link between regional integration and spatial economic development, highlighting the impact of integration on industry location in Africa. Regional integration also generates spatial development, and regional institutions play a key role promoting spatial development and inclusion. Regional integration should help spread the gains from closer ties to a wider number of countries and regions. The key observations are intended to help policy makers focus on this, especially the need to help least developed and landlocked countries.

    • Human development in Africa

      This chapter reviews development in Africa from a human development perspective. A subregional approach is deployed to analyse progress in expanding people’s choices with regard to economic opportunities, health and education. The analysis employs measures of poverty and deprivation that extend beyond income to reflect on persistent human development gaps. The chapter also explores inequality and its impact on present and future human development trends and presents recommendations for the design of implementation and monitoring frameworks for Africa’s Agenda 2063 and the global post-2015 goals. An analysis of uneven human development within countries demonstrates the impact of socio-economic and geographic inequality on progress in human development. Finally, the economic, social and governance-related drivers of uneven human development inform a set of policy recommendations for the ongoing prioritisation of poverty, inequality and sustainability on national, subregional and continental development agendas.

    • Political and economic governance in Africa

      This chapter looks at some of the gains and losses in political and economic governance in Africa in 2014. It also looks at longer-term trends, both since the 1970s and the 2008/09 global crisis, comparing the trajectories of countries sharing similar circumstances. It considers some of the underlying factors of change and anticipates developments that may be expected in 2015.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Regional development and spatial inclusion

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    • Regional development at the heart of Africa's structural transformation

      In the debate on Africa’s structural transformation, the demographic and spatial dimensions have been overlooked. This chapter analyses the challenges and opportunities brought about by the rapid growth of urban and rural populations, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. It argues that development strategies must focus not just on economic sectors, but also on people and places. Regional development can promote spatial inclusion and unlock the potential of African economies.

    • A critical review of regional development and spatial inclusion policies in Africa

      This chapter reviews the effectiveness of various policy actions in promoting regional development and spatial inclusion. The first section looks at actions targeting specific regions and places. The next section reviews policies which have a strong territorial impact; infrastructure and decentralisation emerge as important anchors for inclusive regional development strategies. The last section stresses the difficulties for policy makers to design policies that fully address Africa’s fast-changing demographic and regional realities. Traditional sectoral approaches ignore spatial dynamics as well as complementarities and trade-offs between policies. They are often based on a lack of knowledge on regional economies owing – among other things – to inadequate local statistics.

    • Towards place-based, multisectoral development strategies in Africa

      Adopting a place-based approach will help policy makers articulate sectoral policies more effectively for structural transformation. This chapter proposes a seven-step methodology to crafting development strategies, stressing four main areas of improvement: designing informed policies through better statistics; defining integrated strategic priorities through regional foresight studies; building capacity at multiple levels of government; and mobilising adequate financing for regional economic development at both local and national levels.

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