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Structural Transformation in SubSaharan Africa: The Regional Growth Poles Strategy

Eric Kehinde Ogunleye, Office of the Chief Economic Adviser to the President, Nigeria

The goal of this paper is provoke discussions and challenge policymakers on alternative sustainable structural transformation strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) through the growth pole technique. The proposed technique involves identifying, developing, and managing regional development clusters and value chains of selected commodities and activities. The empirical investigation into the growth poles in SSA suggests that South Africa and Botswana in the South, Nigeria in the West, Angola in the Central region, and Kenya in the East are the most consistent top growth poles in SSA based on different measures of channels through which growth pole exerts influence on peripheral economies. The emergence of potential growth poles such as Ghana, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Equatorial Guinea is highly desirable. The framework for cluster and value chain development and management presented in this study holds a high potential for sustainable structural transformation of SSA economies.