African Economic Outlook Report 2013 - Structural Transformation and Natural Resources

Event Description

The African Economic Outlook (AEO) Report 2013 reflects the continued close collaboration between the African Development Bank (AfDB), the OECD Development Center, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The side event is meant to share the findings of this much anticipated and increasingly popular flagship publication. In particular, the event is designed to provide participants with evidence from research conducted on the report’s main theme: - Structural Transformation and Natural Resources. This theme is closely aligned with the theme for the Annual Meetings and brings a fresh perspective to Africa’s social and economic developments. In particular, the report highlights the countries’ state of play with respect to structural transformation, and what policy instruments are needed to harness the continent’s diverse natural resources for longer and sustained inclusive growth.  The synopsis of country case studies shows that regional member countries are differently endowed with natural resources, but each country’s available resources provide a unique opportunity of fostering structural transformation through close linkage with other sectors.

As with previous editions, the AEO 2013 provides medium-term projections on economic growth and selected macroeconomic indicators, covering 53 countries. Only Somalia is not covered in the analysis. The review of past economic performance and projections for the medium term indicate the continent’s continued resilience amidst global headwinds. But challenges remain, with political events in Mali and elsewhere putting a scar on the continent’s growth prospects. The AEO 2013 has also enhanced the analytical rigor of the chapters on Human Development, by incorporating the gender dimension while the Trade and Regional Integration chapter brings some of the evidence from the ongoing work at the ECA. The governance chapter highlights progress made in North Africa since the Arab Spring, and the remaining challenges to accelerate the transition to full democracy.

The AEO has made an indelible mark and proven to be a leader in informing international opinion on Africa growth. It has demonstrated the importance of forging strong partnerships.
The objectives of the side event are to:

  • Share the findings of the African Economic Report 2013
  • Provide evidence-based analysis that fostering structural transformation should be a new policy imperative for Africa’s future growth.
  • Highlight the countries’ leading growth sectors, the opportunities and challenges to deepening reforms.
  • Highlight the necessity of deeper and sound economic and political governance to achieving structural transformation for more inclusive growth.  

Infant and maternal mortality is down by a half. Life expectancy is up from 40 to 60 years. There are more children in school than at any time in recent history. Seven out of 10 Africans own a mobile phone. Absolute poverty is on the decline.

Donald Kaberuka

AfDB President