African Development Report


African Development Report 2015 - Chapter 2: Poverty has declined in Africa, but remains high

There has been increasing recognition of the importance of poverty reduction as a development objective in the economic literature and in policy circles. Indeed, poverty eradication was enshrined as the first Millennium Development Goal, and also tops the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) list that guides the post-2015 development agenda. The developing world as a whole has experienced a substantial reduction in poverty since the 1980s, at an annual average rate of about 1 percentage point (Chen and Ravallion, 2008). The progress has not been uniform across and within regions, however.

Gender, Poverty and Environmental Indicators on African Countries 2014 - Country Classification by Region Grouping

After a decade and a half of economic growth, occurring not just in a few, but in the majority of African countries, time has come to evaluate the sources of such growth, its sustainability and the extent to which it has fuelled poverty reduction and wellbeing across the continent. This chapter provides an update on Africa’s growth experience, contrasting the continent’s sustained growth over the past 15 years to previous episodes of weaker growth. The chapter then highlights key determinants of the recent growth in the context of fundamental structural economic change. The chapter...

African Development Report 2015 - Overview

In the four decades preceding the new millennium, economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) was largely stagnant. In real terms, GDP per capita for the region was just 7 percent higher in 2000 than it had been in 1960. The stylized fact of ‘chronic growth failure’ (Collier and Gunning, 1999) was the defining feature of most African economies.

African Development Report 2015 - Growth, Poverty and Inequality Nexus: Overcoming Barriers to Sustainable Development

In the four decades preceding the new millennium, economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) was largely stagnant. In real terms, GDP per capita for the region was just 7 percent higher in 2000 than it had been in 1960. The stylized fact of ‘chronic growth failure’ (Collier and Gunning, 1999) was the defining feature of most African economies. From the early years of this century, this picture began to change. Africa’s growth performance underwent a dramatic improvement, with per capita annual GDP growth surging from close to zero to almost 3 percent over a 15-year period. ‘African...

African Development Report 2015 - Chapter 3: High inequality undermined the efficacy of growth in reducing poverty

Historically, at least until recently, the impact of GDP growth on poverty reduction has been significantly weaker in Africa than in other developing regions. The contrast with much of Asia is striking, as discussed in the previous chapter. Substantively, two factors drive this difference 27. First, growth generated by labour intensive sectors such as agriculture or manufacturing is more poverty reducing than growth from mineral sectors. Within Africa, poverty reduction due to growth was thus slower in resource-rich countries, as demonstrated in chapter 2.

African Development Report 2015 - Chapter 8: The way forward to achieving sustainable development in Africa

During the past decade, Africa’s economic pulse has quickened, in comparison with previous decades. However, the recent decline in commodity prices could have adverse impacts on this momentum, especially for commodity dependent countries. In chapter 1, we evaluated the main determinants of this growth performance and high-lighted: favourable commodity price developments, from 2002 to mid-2014; more FDI inflows, especially toward resource-rich countries; improvement in the quality of governance; increasing numbers of middle class consumers; plus, more stable political conditions. In many...

African Development Report 2015 - Chapter 7: Eliminating extreme poverty: progress to date and future priorities

2015, the finishing line for the UN’s MDGs, is referred to as a ‘year for development’, encouraging policymakers to rethink development frameworks for the decade(s) to come. After fifteen years of implementing the MDGs, what efforts have African countries pursued so far? What worked and what are the remaining challenges? Compared to other developing regions around the world, Africa has made relatively limited progress in achieving the MDGs. Nevertheless, Africa has achieved significant gains in some areas, including the follow-ing: Improvement primary school enrolment; bridging the gender gap...

African Development Report 2015 - Chapter 6: Structural transformation, agriculture and Africa’s development

Neoclassical growth theory establishes a presumption that poor countries should grow faster than rich countries. After all, they have the advantage of economic backwardness: Low capital labour ratios should raise the return to investment, ceteris paribus. Further, they can rely on global capital markets to supplement domes-tic savings, so the latter should not act as a constraint. Finally, they have access to global markets so that they can expand output in tradable goods in which they have comparative advantage.

African Development Report 2015 - Chapter 5: Africa’s youth in the labour market

In chapter 3 we discussed how Africa’s recent growth has not been inclusive. Inequality in human capital formation is one of the major impediments to inclusive growth. Among those who have been left behind, the youth population have been much more affected across various dimensions. Young people experience a diverse set of challenges across socio-economic, geographical, political and cultural divides during their transition from adolescence to adulthood. In today’s labour market, the transition from school to work is particularly challenging not only in Africa, but also globally. In Africa,...

African Development Report 2015 - Chapter 4: Gender inequality: A double break on poverty reduction

Recently, researchers and policymakers have been concerned with understanding why the continent’s high growth rates have had limited impact on poverty reduc-tion. As discussed in a previous chapter, measures of the growth elasticity of poverty suggest that the effect is even lower in countries where inequality is high. However, most of these measures consider inequality along the income dimension. At the same time, there is another type of inequality that deserves attention: That is the inequality between men and women, which continues to be substantial in many African countries.

African Development Report 2014 – “Leveraging Regional Integration for Inclusive Growth”

The theme of the African Development Report 2014, “Regional Integration for Inclusive Growth,” recognizes that regional integration is not an end in itself, but rather a tool for enhancing economic growth and fostering inclusion – within and between countries. After decades of relative stagnation, Africa has shown a steady upward improvement in performance in the past decade and a half. Average growth has been about 5 %, while the value of intra-African trade has increased fourfold over the last decade to reach USD 130 billion. This Report discusses the regional opportunities that have come...

African Development Report 2012 - Overview.pdf

Africa’s recent growth reflects many years of policy reforms coupled with a surge in extraction and export of its natural resources. To sustain this growth, and make it more inclusive, will require difficult policy choices in the long term. Current practices have implications for sustainability of natural assets, which are the source of livelihood for the vast majority of the population in Africa. For instance, the agriculture sector employs about 60 percent of Africa’s total population and contributes a third of its GDP. With the challenges of the 21 st century, such as climate change and...

African Development Report 2011

Africa’s private sector is coming of age: It is poised to become the main engine of growth for the African continent. Over the past decade, African countries have made great strides in improving their economic management and creating a better business climate. Countries such as Mauritius are leading performers on the global competitiveness index. These achievements are demonstrated by the remarkable growth in construction, retail, telecommunications and financial services of recent years. This in turn contributed to Africa’s relative resilience in the face of the global financial crisis....

African Development Report 1998


African Development Report 1999


African Development Report 2005

The African Development Report, prepared annually by the staff of the Development Research Department of the Bank, provides an in-depth review of recent macroeconomic performance and structural issues in Africa, viewed from continental, regional and national perspectives. It also assesses the prospects of the African economy in the context of recent global developments. In addition, it provides an in-depth analysis of a topical issue that is critical to Africa’s development -- with this year’s focus being on Public Sector Management in Africa. With respect to Africa’s economic performance...

African Development Report 2012 - Overview

Africa’s robust economic growth, averaging five percent a year over the last ten years, has placed the continent among the fastest growing regions in the world. During the past decade, poverty rates on the continent have declined and the attainment of other MDG targets is within sight. Although headcount poverty rates have decreased, Africa is still a poor continent and rapid economic growth has not reduced inequality. Hunger remains widespread on the continent, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, while access to energy is inadequate. Environmental and socioeconomic changes present further...

African Development Report 2012 - Towards Green Growth

The African Development Report 2012 was prepared under the overall guidance of Prof. Mthuli Ncube (Chief Economist and Vice President – ECON), Gilbert Mbesherubusa (Vice – President, Infrastructure, Private Sector and Regional Integration), Aly Abou-Sabaa (Vice-President, Sector Operations II), Steve Kayizzi-Mugerwa (Director, Development Research Department), Hela Cheikhrouhou (Director, Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department), Abebe Shimeles (Division Manager, Development Research Department), and Kurt Lonsway (Division Manager, Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department...

African Development Report 2010

This African Development Report 2010 focuses on trade logistics in Africa, in particular maritime ports, with the objective of exploring ways to unblock bottlenecks to trade, increase competitiveness, and create sustainable economic growth for African countries. Ports are gateways for 80 percent of global merchandise trade and yet these crucial infrastructure hubs often fail to receive the attention they deserve. This report aims at bridging the existing information gap, providing detailed information on port development, institutional and regulatory aspects, and issues of managing the supply...

African Development Report 2008/2009

In the second half of the 20th Century, the African Continent, more than any other part of the World has suffered enormously from violent conflict within and between States. This has exacted heavy toll on Africa in terms of human suffering and lost development opportunities. The contagion effects on the neighborhood, in terms of loss of confidence from investors, have been considerable.