AfDB Launches the 2013 African Economic Outlook in Khartoum, Sudan

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The African Development Bank on November 26, 2013 launched the 12th Edition of the African Economic Outlook in Khartoum, Sudan. The event took place at the Mamoun Beheiry Centre for Economic and Social Studies in Africa (MBC). The launching ceremony was presided over by Abdul Kamara, Resident Representative of the African Development in Sudan, and chaired by Ibrahim Mansour, former Minister of Finance and National Economy of Sudan and current Chair of the Board of Directors of MBC. In his opening remarks, the Resident Representative emphasized the importance of such a forum in generating debate on critical development issues affecting the continent, underscoring the continent’s impressive growth performance in the last decade. He indicated, however, that this growth was neither sufficient nor inclusive to make a significant dent in poverty.

Among the major highlights of the report is Africa’s strong growth. The report noted that the African economy grew by 6.2% in 2012 and is estimated to grow by 4.8% in 2013, and is projected to accelerate to 5.3% in 2014. The 6.2% growth in 2012 is however driven by Libya’s strong growth rate of 96% for that year, which is a strong recovery from the sharp contraction of 60% in 2011.

Thus, Africa’s growth for 2012 (with the exception of Libya) dropped by two percentage points to 4.2%. The main drivers of growth are expansion in agricultural production, robust growth in the services sector, and a rise in oil production and increased mining activity, mainly in resource-rich countries. This strong performance fraught with short-term challenges, notably the need for the continent to consolidate macroeconomic conditions in the face of a major volatile economic environment, improve institutions and regulations for private sector activity, address infrastructure bottlenecks, increase access to key public services, and address issues of poverty and inequality.  

The report was presented by Suwareh Darbo, Sudan Country Economist at the African Development Bank. It focused on issues relating to the management of natural resources, conflict prevention, democracy, regional integration, and transparency and accountability, among others. The event was attended by development partners, representatives of government institutions, academia, civil society organizations, private sector, as well as ambassadors and diplomatic from China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Norway, South Sudan, Turkey, Uganda and Zimbabwe, among others. The report is prepared by the AfDB in partnership with the OECD Development Centre, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), with financial collaboration of the European Union and Committee of African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP).