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African Economic Outlook 2010

image of African Economic Outlook 2010

Since 2002, the annual African Economic Outlook has been charting the progress of the continent’s economies. Africa was propelled by seven years of strong growth from 2002 to 2008, only to be stopped in its tracks by the world’s deepest and most widespread recession in half a century. This edition finds the continent struggling to get back on its feet and identify new, more crisis-resilient practices for moving forward. In this context, decision makers in African and OECD countries, both in the public and private sectors, will find this year's analysis of particular interest for their activities.

Jointly published by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the OECD Development Centre and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African Economic Outlook project is generously supported by the European Development Fund. It combines the expertise accumulated by the OECD – which produces the OECD Economic Outlook twice yearly – with the knowledge of the AfDB, UNECA and a network of African research institutions on African economies.

This year’s Outlook reviews recent economic, social and political developments and the short-term likely evolution of 50 African countries. The African Economic Outlook is drawn from a country-by-country analysis based on a unique common framework. This includes a forecasting exercise for 2010 to 2012 using a simple macroeconomic model, together with an analysis of the social and political context. Its overview chapter provides a comparative synthesis of African country prospects which places the evolution of African economies in the world economic context. A statistical appendix completes the volume.  

African Economic Outlook 2010 focuses on public resource mobilisation and aid in Africa, presenting a comprehensive review of best practices in tax administration, policies and multilateral agreements, including recommendations for meeting future challenges. The role that aid should play to help African countries mobilise their public resources to meet their development goals is also discussed. The original dataset that resulted from the 50-country analysis will be made available for free on www.africaneconomicoutlook.org.

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Sierra Leone

OECD Development Centre

The gradual projected recovery in 2010 mostly reflects continued buoyant agricultural production and services, and exports that are slowly turning around. Nevertheless, exports of minerals, driven by the global return to growth, remain subdued because of compressed prices, reduced investment and continued production difficulties in the rutile sub-sector. Although growth is projected to increase to 5% in 2011 thanks to stronger global recovery and rising exports, returns on infrastructure investments and an improved business climate, it will remain below the pre-crisis rates. Even small differences in growth are potentially very damaging for a vulnerable country such as Sierra Leone, given the widespread poverty and the risk of policy reversal and social instability. For the future the key policy priority is thus to bring the economy quickly back on a high and broad-based growth path, as the current slowdown raises already high unemployment, hampers progress with poverty reduction and heightens risks of resurgence of fragility. In this context, stable and predictable foreign aid delivery remains crucial.

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