The 2019 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank Group will be held from 11-14 June 2019, in Malabo, Republic of Equatorial Guinea. Find out more
Harnessing productive sectors’ through value chains to enhance intra-African trade and regional integration
Integrating Africa is the AfDB Group’s blog on regional integration in Africa. It chronicles the issues arising from African countries’ efforts as they work to pool resources and integrate their economies for the development of their regional and individual economies. Read More
Eastern Africa is the new fossil fuel frontier. In the last few years Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Mozambique have discovered large quantities of commercially viable oil and gas deposits, with the potential for even more discoveries as more aggressive prospecting continues. There is reason to be upbeat about the region’s economic prospects over the next three decades, or at least before the oil runs out.
According to a recent survey by Ernst & Young, 44% of businesspeople in Africa identified inadequate infrastructure as one of the key constraints to doing business in the region. This means that as Africa continues to grow in the next two decades, infrastructure development must top the investment agenda.
Neo-liberal scholars and experts of regional integration highlight the alleged virtues of common markets, where capital and goods flow freely within economically integrated regions. Yet, they tend to forget that the other key factor of production, labour, is arguably even more important in supporting the creation of sustainable regional economic communities (RECs). Indeed, labour mobility may allow for cultural and social exchanges (which are not produced by mere flows of capital) and further support the diversification of national economies.
During the last 10 years the African continent has been growing far above the average growth rate of the previous two decades, despite the global financial crisis and the great trade collapse. Nevertheless, the relative high growth rates have, as in the 1960s, largely been driven by commodity export volumes to the rest of the world and the associated increasing commodity prices. The increase in commodity prices has in turn mainly been due to the rise of the BRICS and other emerging economies.
The economies of African countries are currently going through an intense growth phase. The African middle class is also growing. Nearly 34 per cent of Africans belong in the middleclass, clearly indicating the direction of future economic growth.
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