African Economic Outlook 2013

28 May 2012
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Summary

The continent’s economic outlook for 2013 and 2014 is promising, confirming its healthy resilience to internal and external shocks and its role as a growth pole in an ailing global economy. Africa’s economy is projected to grow by 4.8% in 2013 and accelerate further to 5.3% in 2014. The report shows this growth has been accompanied by insufficient poverty reduction, persisting unemployment, increased income inequalities and in some countries, deteriorating levels of health and education.

 

The report argues that African countries must tap into their natural resource wealth to accelerate the pace of growth and ensure the process can benefit ordinary Africans. According to the report, four key elements are needed to achieve that objective. Firstly, African countries should create the right conditions for such a transformation to take place, including infrastructure, education and the creation of larger and more competitive markets. In the second instance, the primary sectors require sound land management, balanced and effective tax systems and the right mechanisms and incentives to cause an acceleration and diversification of the sources of growth.Thirdly, governments and investors must ensure that a fair share of the proceeds from natural resources and extractive industries accrue to society. Finally, the report suggests that African countries can foster change and economic diversification actively, for example through corridors of development around power, transport and communication lines.
 

Highlights

  • Africa’s economy is projected to grow by 4.8% in 2013 and accelerate further to 5.3% in 2014.
  • From 2000 to 2011, Africa’s exports almost quadrupled in value, from USD 148.6 billion a year to USD 581.8 billion.
  • Many countries in Africa have recorded improvements in human development, but progress has been slow.
  • Income inequality is widening and education and health indicators are deteriorating in some parts of the continent.
  • More than 50 presidential, parliamentary and legislative elections were held during 2011 and 2012, in a sign that democracy is taking root across Africa.
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