AfDB: Championing inclusive growth across Africa. A blog by the former Chief Economist and Vice-President
For the past decade, Africa has had strong growth. A new economic momentum has been created. The continent weathered the financial crisis and has bounced back. But headline economic growth is not enough. Deliberate policies to reduce inequalities and promote inclusion are now needed more than ever before. It is time to focus on what people want: decent work, a living wage, access to basic service, more democracy and accountable governments. Africa and its people aim to be a pole of growth in the decades ahead. Read more
The African economy has experienced a notable trend break in recent years – the “average” story is now no longer that of abject poverty and escalating conflict, but rather of how best to attract investment, including in new technologies, to buttress growth and sustain and share its benefits with the population. Still, being in this situation is relatively new for Africa.
With the year 2015 – the MDG finishing line – approaching, post-2015 goals as they impact Africa need to be firmed. The goal of ending extreme poverty remains paramount. In this context, extreme poverty means living on a less than $1.25 a day (PPP, 2005 prices). Given the continent’s potential and the track record, the extreme poverty reduction agenda beyond the MDGs should focus on building prosperous and resilient Africa. This can be achieved with strong, sustained and inclusive growth.
The wave of protests and unrest that swept across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region since 2011 has continued in different forms. In addition to demands for more economic and political inclusion, the protests had been largely sparked by a refusal to tolerate any longer the gross socio-economic inequality perpetuated by long-entrenched “elites” in power. In many countries today, the issue of inequality has come to the front burner of international and national discourse with a view to finding solutions.
State fragility and breakdown, along with violent conflict, pose significant risks to global and regional security. Most contemporary armed conflicts take place within states, and the majority of their victims are civilians. Conflict and fragility impede efforts to reduce poverty, and the prevention of conflict through development is cheaper than dealing with the aftermath of conflict.
According to the 2013 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development World Investment Report, the value of global trade is currently estimated at US $20 trillion. Trade in intermediate goods and services that are incorporated at various stages of production accounts for two-thirds of global trade.