AfDB launches the African Economic Outlook 2015 in Sudan

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The African Development Bank (AfDB), and the United Nations Development Programme, in collaboration with the Government of Sudan launched the 14th Edition of the African Economic Outlook (AEO) on December 10, 2015.

The event took place at the Mamoun Beheiry Center in Khartoum. It was presided over by Abdul Kamara, the Resident Representative of the African Development Bank in Sudan, and Hassan Gafar, Deputy Director for Foreign Finance in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning who represented the State Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Magdi Yasin. The ceremony was attended by representatives of international organisations, diplomatic and consular missions, government agencies and departments, academic institutions, private sector and the civil society.

Kamara described the AEO as a comprehensive analysis that empowers policy makers, civil society and private sector with lessons and best practices across the continent. “It now enjoys a special place as a useful reference for academics, policy makers and development practitioners about the performance of Africa’s macroeconomic aggregates, and how these are impacting the lives of ordinary citizens,” he noted.

He cited the relatively good growth performance of African countries, emphasising the need for such growth to be broad-based and diversified to promote inclusion, reduce poverty and minimize exposure to external risks, notably commodity price volatility.

Marta Ruedas, the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator said the findings of the report were timely for Sudan, a county that is currently embarking on the preparation of its Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper. She encouraged African governments to continue to create job opportunities in response to the growing demographic pressure.

Speaking on behalf of the State Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Hassan Gafar lauded the Bank for its efforts in producing the report. He underlined that what the publication says about Sudan highlights the need for government to diversify the country’s economy. He affirmed the government’s commitment to Africa’s growth and poverty reduction agenda as well as regional integration and trade.

The technical presentation of the AEO was followed by a discussion about the theme of the report “Regional Development and Spatial Inclusion” in an African context. Some of the issues which emanated from the deliberations included intra-Africa trade, job creation, governance deficit in natural resource management, and risks associated with Africa’s growth and human development.