AfDB publishes a comparative approach on the search for inclusive growth in North Africa
A new economic brief published by the African Development Bank shows that the longstanding relationship between growth and distribution in economics has been revived in recent years with greater focus being placed on “inclusive growth”, which is capable of benefiting much wider segments of society.
The extensive review of a broad set of development indicators over the past two decades and the establishment of a combined single score for measuring “inclusive growth” for individual countries shows that, in the decade prior to the Arab Spring, North Africa fared relatively well in terms of crises compared to many other regions.
Moreover, the same decade saw other encouraging achievements: life expectancy rose, educational and health indicators improved, the number and proportion of slum dwellers declined, and more people enjoyed access to services such as improved drinking water and sanitation.
The main area where the region has noticeably lagged behind the rest of the world in recent years is its demographic momentum. Taking population size and growth into account qualifies some of the positive economic achievements of the region in the past decade. GDP growth in per capita terms appears much more modest. Strong supply-side demographic pressures will no doubt continue to persist for years and will accentuate the challenge of achieving inclusive growth in North Africa.
This leads the economic brief to conclude that no matter the notion of inclusive growth we adopt for the region, generating high quality employment will be an essential element and will pose one of the main challenges to prospects for achieving truly inclusive growth.