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Southern Africa Economic Outlook 2018
12/03/2018 13:51
Southern Africa Economic Outlook 2018
The economic outlook for the Southern Africa region is cautious. Broad-based economic activity is expected to recover at a slow pace, but the outlook remains modest, given the diverging growth patterns for the region’s economies. Upper middle-income countries turned in low and declining rates of growth. Meanwhile, lower income transitioning economies recorded moderate and improved growth, albeit at reduced rates. Despite the improvement, economic performance remains below the regional target of 7 percent annual economic growth for all member states. The region’s economic outlook continues to face major headwinds: high unemployment, scal strain, increasing debt, and high in ation. Real GDP is estimated to have grown at an average of 1.6 percent for 2017, before increasing to a projected 2.0 percent in 2018. Future regional growth is bolstered primarily by expectations of increased investment in non-oil sectors such as electricity, construction, and technology, in large infrastructure projects, and in mining, as well as a continued recovery of commodity prices. Net commodity exporters and low-income economies, generally, are outperforming their larger net manufacturing exporter counterparts. The decline in commodity prices in recent years, reaching their lowest point in 2015, translated into signi cant income losses for these economies, implying negative impacts on public and private sector spending, and therefore growth and employment.Read more
Southern Africa Quarterly Report 3rd Quarter -2014 - Issue No.14
11/11/2015 14:25
Southern Africa Quarterly Report 3rd Quarter -2014 - Issue No.14
Southern Africa Quarterly Report 2nd Quarter-2014 Issue No.13
05/11/2014 10:21
Southern Africa Quarterly Report 2nd Quarter-2014 Issue No.13
Southern Africa Quarterly Review and Analysis – 1st Quarter 2014 - Issue 12
26/08/2014 11:18
Southern Africa Quarterly Review and Analysis – 1st Quarter 2014 - Issue 12
Working Paper 204 - Skills and Youth Entrepreneurship in Africa: Analysis with Evidence from Swaziland
06/08/2014 12:38
Working Paper 204 - Skills and Youth Entrepreneurship in Africa: Analysis with Evidence from Swaziland
Southern Africa Quarterly Review and Analysis – 4th Quarter 2013 - Issue 11
19/02/2014 15:08
Southern Africa Quarterly Review and Analysis – 4th Quarter 2013 - Issue 11
Southern Africa Quarterly Review and Analysis – 3rd Quarter 2013 - Issue 10
29/11/2013 16:32
Southern Africa Quarterly Review and Analysis – 3rd Quarter 2013 - Issue 10
Southern Africa Quarterly Review and Analysis – 2nd Quarter 2013 - Issue 9
29/08/2013 16:13
Southern Africa Quarterly Review and Analysis – 2nd Quarter 2013 - Issue 9
Regional Integration Policy Papers - Intra-Regional Trade in Southern Africa: Structure, Performance and Challenges
05/08/2013 23:00
Regional Integration Policy Papers - Intra-Regional Trade in Southern Africa: Structure, Performance and Challenges
Working Paper 175 - Youth Employment in Africa: New Evidence and Policies from Swaziland
18/06/2013 09:03
Working Paper 175 - Youth Employment in Africa: New Evidence and Policies from Swaziland
The main objective of this paper is to document the labor market disadvantages faced by Swazi youth, to analyze changes in these disadvantages over time and to discuss options for addressing them. Swaziland indeed faces a major youth employment challenge. Recent labor force surveys in Swaziland revealed that the country has one of the highest unemployment rates among Africa’s middle income countries, which stood at 26.3 and 26.8 percent of the labor force, in 2007 and 2010 respectively. The surveys also revealed that marked differences across subgroups have emerged, with youth, women, and less educated workers being disproportionally impacted. The labor market situation has worsened in 2011 and 2012 because of the delayed impact of the global financial crisis, which was transmitted to the economy mostly through the collapse of revenues from the Southern Africa Custom Union (SACU). The paper contributes to the literature on labor markets in Southern Africa by providing the first systematic evidence on the youth labor market in Swaziland, a country with a particularly high youth unemployment rate. Besides Southern Africa, the paper contributes to the ongoing more general analysis and policy debates on youth employment in Africa. First, reliable labor market data from African countries are still relatively scarce, and until recently, none was available for Swaziland. Second, with the global financial crisis turning into a job crisis and impacting youth disproportionally, youth employment became a key global policy issue. In Africa, where youth employment is a long-standing challenge, policymakers have put even higher priority on creating jobs for their youth and on entrepreneurship. The paper adds to these debates and provides insights from a small land-locked country with one of the highest youth unemployment rate in Africa and globally. The paper sheds light on the trends, scale, and forms of youth labor market disadvantages, by utilizing the first two (2007 and 2010) Swaziland Labor Force Surveys, which provide a sample of over 3,000 households and more than 13,000 individuals. Using statistical analysis, the paper first outlines the main features of the Swazi labor market based on the country’s Labor Force Surveys 2007 and 2010. It then discusses both supply-side (e.g., demographic, social) and demand-side (e.g., private sector growth) drivers of youth unemployment, and illustrates the first-round impact of the global financial crisis on Swaziland's labor market. The paper also utilizes a multinomial logit model to examine some of the key socio-economic factors (e.g., age, gender, education) that contribute to the high youth unemployment. The outcome categorical variable indicates whether the individual has a wage employment in the public sector, the formal private sector, the informal private sector, or is self-employed, inactive or unemployed. The vector of controls includes demographic characteristics (such as gender and age), household-related characteristics (such as the marital status and the individual’s responsibility in the household), proxies of mobility (such as the geographical location - urban versus rural- and the length of stay in the area), and education variables. The model focus on young adults (ages 20 – 29) since tertiary education and self-employment are relatively rare among teenagers (ages 15 – 19). The findings from the statistical analysis indicate that the youth labor market in Swaziland is characterized by a high overall unemployment with long duration, a declining employment and labor force participation rates. It also indicates that unemployment is especially widespread among women, less educated, and youth. The analysis also revealed that the labor market disadvantages faced by Swazi youth relate to the lack of jobs, discouragement or the lower quality jobs. The findings from the multivariate analysis indicate how socio-economic factors (e.g., education, age, gender, location and mobility) drive youth labor outcomes. The results show in particular that higher education, living in urban areas and being mobile increase employment chances of young people. Among young adults, women and very young people have lower probability of employment in the private sector relative to being unemployed, reiterating the need to pay special attention to these groups. Some of the key policy messages for fostering dynamic youth entrepreneurship – in Swaziland and other middle income countries in Southern Africa – that emerge from the paper emphasize that an enabling business environment is needed along with the government’s pro-active support for entrepreneurial training and start-up capital. Regarding the latter, the Swaziland’s experience underscores the importance of careful selection of projects for funding, and of monitoring the use of funds after disbursement. International good practices suggest that government interventions should target the most viable projects, extend greater financial support to a fewer high-potential entrepreneurs rather than spread resources thinly, and provide complementary packages of services instead of a single measure.Read more
Southern Africa Quarterly Review and Analysis – 1st Quarter 2013 - Issue 8
27/05/2013 13:57
Southern Africa Quarterly Review and Analysis – 1st Quarter 2013 - Issue 8
Indian Ocean Commission Countries a Flagship Study on Regional Integration - Summary Final Report
15/05/2013 11:02
Indian Ocean Commission Countries a Flagship Study on Regional Integration - Summary Final Report
Working Paper 130 - Growth and Macroeconomic Convergence in Southern Africa
23/06/2011 08:22
Working Paper 130 - Growth and Macroeconomic Convergence in Southern Africa
The objective of this study is to assess whether the formation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in 1992 has led to (i) convergence in real income or “catch- up” growth across the countries within the region or higher growth in the region as compared to advanced economies over the past two decades; and (ii) convergence in indicators of macroeconomic stability and/or the harmonization of macroeconomic policies within the region.   The paper investigates convergence in real per capita GDP and macroeconomic policy and stability indicators within the SADC, using primarily the concepts of beta and sigma convergence and common stochastic trends. Empirical tests for the period 1992-2009 showed no evidence of absolute beta and sigma convergence in real per capita GDP among the SADC economies. Although, absence of convergence does not necessarily imply lack of economic growth, further empirical assessment of possible conditional beta convergence did not reveal any tendency of convergence to own steady states. On an individual level, however, ADF unit root test indicated that Botswana and South Africa’s real per capita GDP converged to a common stochastic trend while the rest were characterized by a boundless drift. With regard to the SADC macroeconomic convergence goals set for 2012, the findings indicate that most of the economies of the member states have shown a tendency of macroeconomic divergence in 2009 in monetary policy, fiscal policy, and foreign exchange reserve ratios. Since member countries are at varied levels of economic development, the goals themselves must be conditional on the level of convergence in economic structure and hence macroeconomic convergence may not be attainable. Furthermore, achieving the targets may be neither necessary nor sufficient to achieve good macroeconomic outcomes. We made further attempt to identify possible club convergence within SADC free trade area using Common Monetary Area criterion, including South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland. The result indicates that the real per capita GDP level of the CMA economies did not converge to the South African real GDP per capita level during the 18 years under consideration.   The crucial implications of the above results are that the establishment of regional trading block did not enhance economic performance in the poorer member states in SADC during the 18 years under consideration. Poor member states failed to catch up with the more developed countries within the region. The same countries that were richer 18 years ago are richer today and the poorer countries remained largely poorer. This is not to suggest that regional trade agreements and economic blocks do not promote economic performance and help poor countries to catch up. It is rather the way member countries implement the regional integration agreements that matter most.  Duplication of membership among the several Regional Economic Communities, low savings and investment, shortages of high level skills, high level of unemployment, inadequate and substandard infrastructure, and insignificant production and manufacturing capability all contributed to slow economic growth and lack of convergence in real per capita GDP. Regional economies need to urgently address these challenges in order to achieve deeper economic integration and catch up with the more developed economies in the sub region and the rest of the world. Macroeconomic policy strategies should also be designed conditional on the actual degree of convergence in the economic structure.Read more
The AfDB Group in Southern Africa 2011 - Fostering Growth and Regional Integration
05/06/2011 18:17
The AfDB Group in Southern Africa 2011 - Fostering Growth and Regional Integration
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