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Africa's Development Dynamics 2019

Achieving Productive Transformation

image of Africa's Development Dynamics 2019

What are the major economic and social trends in Africa? What is Africa’s role in globalisation? This annual report presents an Africa open to the world and towards the future. Africa’s Development Dynamics uses the lessons learned in the five African regions – Central, East, North, Southern and West Africa – to develop recommendations and share good practices. The report identifies innovative policies and offers practical policy recommendations, adapted to the specificities of African economies. Drawing on the most recent available statistics, this analysis of development dynamics aims to help African leaders reach the targets of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 at all levels: continental, regional, national, and local. Every year this report will focus on one strategic theme.

This 2019 edition explores policies for productive transformation. It proposes three main policy focus for transforming firms: providing business services to clusters of firms; developing regional production networks; and improving exporting firms’ ability to thrive in fast-changing markets.

This volume feeds into a policy debate between African Union’s nations, citizens, entrepreneurs and researchers. It aims to be part of a new co-operation between countries and regions focused on mutual learning and the preservation of common goods. This report is the result of a partnership between the African Union Commission and the OECD Development Centre.

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Africa’s productive transformation in a changing world

This chapter analyses how public policies can support African firms’ productive transformation. It first explains why productive transformation matters for the continent’s development agenda. Second, the chapter proposes three main sets of policies to accelerate productive transformation in a fastchanging world. The first set consists of developing clusters of firms. Successful clusters enable local firms to specialise and scale up their production. The second set of policies aims to develop regional production networks. Governments can strengthen regional public goods, like cross-regional infrastructure and institutions, as well as regional complementarities in value chains. The third set focuses on increasing African firms’ capacity to thrive in export markets. Exports will become ever more important as African governments implement the Continental Free Trade Area. The chapter highlights innovative practices on the continent relevant to African policy makers at local, national, regional and continental levels.

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