African Economic Outlook

OECD Development Centre

1999-1029 (online)
1995-3909 (print)
Hide / Show Abstract

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 2017

Latest Edition

African Economic Outlook 2017

Entrepreneurship and Industrialisation You or your institution have access to this content

OECD Development Centre

Click to Access:
  • PDF
  • READ
22 May 2017
9789264274266 (PDF) ;9789264274259(print)

Hide / Show Abstract

The African Economic Outlook 2017 presents the continent’s current state of affairs and forecasts its situation for the coming two years. This annual report examines Africa’s performance in crucial areas: macroeconomics, external financial flows and tax revenues, trade policies and regional integration, human development, and governance. For its 16th edition, the report  takes a hard look at the role of entrepreneurs in Africa’s industrialisation process. It proposes practical steps that African governments can take to carry out effective industrialisation strategies. Policies aimed at improving skills, business clusters and financing could remove important constraints on African private enterprises.

A section of country notes summarises recent economic growth, forecasts gross domestic product for 2017 and 2018, and highlights the main policy issues facing each of the 54 African countries. A statistical annex (available only on line) compares country-specific economic, social and political variables.

Also available in French, Portuguese
loader image

Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Table of Contents

  • Mark Click to Access
  • Foreword

    The annual African Economic Outlook (AEO) monitors the continent’s state of affairs using a collaborative approach. The AEO assesses the recent economic and social situation in Africa, projects likely developments for the near future and explores a special theme on the structure of African economies. The AEO 2017, the 16th edition, examines entrepreneurship and industrialisation in Africa. The report results from a unique partnership between three international organisations: the African Development Bank, the OECD Development Centre and the United Nations Development Programme.

  • Editorial

    The 16th edition of the African Economic Outlook highlights the fact that Africa’s economic performance is reflecting the perils of the global economy. The region’s real GDP growth slowed down to 2.2% in 2016, mainly due to the continued fall in commodity prices and weak global economic growth. East Africa was the fastest growing region at 5.3% real GDP growth, followed by North Africa at 3%. Growth in other regions was anaemic, ranging from a low of 0.4% in West Africa, dragged down by the recession in Nigeria, to 1.1% in Southern Africa, with South Africa, the region’s largest economy, posting only 0.3% growth.

  • Executive summary

    The African Economic Outlook (AEO) 2017 shows that the continent’s performance was uneven in 2016 in regard to economic, social and governance indicators, but prospects are favourable for 2017 and 2018. This year’s edition of the AEO looks closely at how African entrepreneurs can thus accelerate the continent’s industrialisation to change the course of development and discusses the policies necessary to foster more sustainable and inclusive growth.

  • Add to Marked List
  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Africa’s performance and prospects

    • Mark Click to Access
    • Africa's macroeconomic prospects

      This chapter reviews macroeconomic conditions in the different regions and countries of Africa, and on the continent as a whole. It highlights past growth trends and projects future growth for 2017-18 based on prevailing global, regional and domestic dynamics and shocks. It examines the main drivers of growth on the supply and demand sides and provides comparisons at the regional level and based on the structure of African economies. The chapter also examines fiscal, monetary and financial sector policies, as well as external positions underpinning recent growth performance that are likely to shape the future growth paths of African countries.

    • External financial flows and tax revenues for Africa

      This chapter analyses recent trends in external financial flows to Africa and domestic revenue collection. It explores how foreign direct investment, portfolio investment, remittances and official development assistance have evolved in 2015 and 2016, and their outlook for 2017. It highlights the growing importance of private flows in comparison to public ones. The chapter concludes with a description of domestic revenue performance in Africa from 2005 to 2015, as well as an analysis of the challenges to increasing domestic revenue mobilisation.

    • Trade policies and regional integration in Africa

      Trade within Africa and its commercial relations with the rest of the world are changing quickly. This five-section chapter focuses on the diversification of Africa’s trade partners and products and the potential for further progress. It assesses global economic developments, explains the eight regional economic communities, their policies and integration initiatives, and provides ideas on how Africa’s private sector can maximise opportunities presented by regional and global value chains.

    • Human development in Africa

      This chapter presents human development in Africa and its close links to entrepreneurship. It highlights the importance of investing in people – including their health and nutrition, knowledge and skills, and decent jobs and livelihoods – in order to unlock entrepreneurial activity across the continent. It discusses strategic actions in achieving significant reduction in risks of future progress such as unemployment, inequality and vulnerability.

    • Political and economic governance in Africa

      This chapter looks at the most recent data on governance in Africa, with the intent of assessing the effectiveness of public institutions in supporting Africa’s development outcomes. It examines policy demands across the continent, current challenges in meeting these demands and examples of good initiatives paving the way forward. The principal questions of interest are as follows: What do we know about citizens’ demands for economic and political governance in Africa? How are public institutions currently performing in terms of meeting those demands? What are examples of policy initiatives leading the way in achieving results in Africa? Key findings are presented first, and details about how these findings were arrived at are provided in subsequent sections.

    • Add to Marked List
  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Entrepreneurship and industrialisation

    • Mark Click to Access
    • Improving entrepreneurship for industrialisation in Africa

      This chapter situates Africa with regard to industrialisation. First, it demonstrates the presence of Africa’s industrialisation on policy agendas and discusses the main reasons why Africa has yet to industrialise. Second, the chapter examines the role of manufacturing and the potential of other economic sectors in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Finally, it looks at the continent’s entrepreneurial landscape and identifies the types of entrepreneurs that can foster industrialisation. It examines specifically the prevalence of early-stage, rural, female and opportunity-driven entrepreneurs in Africa.

    • Designing, carrying out and assessing Africa's industrialisation strategies

      This chapter analyses the existing national industrialisation strategies in Africa. It first looks at designing the continent’s industrialisation strategies, the role of industrial policies and the extent to which they support entrepreneurship. It then discusses implementation by co-ordinating the work of national and subnational governments and by improving government capabilities. Finally, the chapter examines the need for policy monitoring and impact evaluation for successful industrialisation strategies.

    • Policies to promote entrepreneurship for Africa's industrialisation

      This chapter identifies the most binding constraints that African entrepreneurs face and focuses on three important policy areas to help entrepreneurs contribute to industrialisation. To strengthen Africa’s firms, governments should develop entrepreneurs’ skills, improve infrastructure, notably for business clusters, and facilitate financing. First, this chapter discusses how to promote education and professional training for entrepreneurs and wage workers. Second, it examines how clusters can kick-start industrialisation by providing enabling conditions for African firms to grow. Third, it explores ways to finance small and mediumsized enterprises, including high-potential firms. It also proposes ways for governments to co-operate with the private sector in designing and implementing the necessary policies.

    • Add to Marked List
  • Mark Click to Access
  • Statistical Annex

    The African Economic Outlook includes a set of statistical tables of indicators related to economic and social development in Africa. The African Development Bank compiled Tables 1-19 and 21 and the OECD Development Centre Tables 20 and 22-26 for the purposes of informing the analyses contained within this volume. What follows is a complete list of indicators contained in each table, as well as some definitions of concepts and explanations of methodologies used to create these data. The aggregate figures for Africa, when reported, do not include countries whose data are unavailable. Figures are reported on a calendaryear basis, except in Table 4 and except for the macroeconomic indicators for Egypt and Eritrea in Tables 1-6 that are reported for years starting in July and ending in June.

  • Statistical Annex Tables
  • Add to Marked List
Visit the OECD web site