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Macro-economics Policy, Forecasting and Research

The Macroeconomic Policy, Forecasting and Research Department (ECMR) of the African Development Bank undertakes and disseminates research on priority issues related to Africa’s socio-economic development, with particular emphasis on the Bank’s High 5 priorities – Light up and Power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa. ECMR is also responsible for providing advice and guidance to Operations Departments. The mandate of the Department therefore cuts across several key activities, including the following:

  • Managing the preparation of the Bank’s flagship publications, notably the African Economic Outlook, African Development Report, Annual Report and the African Development Review;
  • Undertaking research projects related to the Bank’s strategic priorities, in close cooperation with the Bank’s operational departments as well as international and African research institutions, think tanks and other stakeholders;
  • Disseminating research findings and a wide variety of publications and research papers through the research seminars series, regional and international conferences and workshops as well as the annual African Economic Conference and through the Bank’s website;
  • Undertaking economic intelligence, analysis and studies as requested by Senior Management, and preparing related papers, briefs, and statements; and
  • Strengthening operational development effectiveness through the Additionality and Development Outcomes Assessment Framework (ADOA) for the ex-ante development impact assessments of private sector operations.


ECMR is divided into two divisions whose specific mandates are described below.

The Macroeconomic Policy, Debt Sustainability and Forecasting Division (ECMR.1) is responsible for undertaking research on macroeconomic policy issues and conducting debt sustainability analysis and forecasting for policy analysis within the Bank’s broad developmental work and operations support to the RMCs.

The Division also generates knowledge on various themes such as Energy, Climate Change, Infrastructure Development, Agriculture/Agribusiness and Industrialization, or Regional Integration and Trade; as well as crosscutting themes such as poverty, inequality, labor markets, urbanization, youth and gender issues, or economics of fragility.

The Division’s knowledge products are important in (i) providing early warning signs to RMCs on their macroeconomic variables including debt and growth outlook to ensure long-term economic stability, (ii) reinforcing the Bank’s knowledge leadership and visibility in the continent (iii) supporting Bank operations and policy dialogue with RMCs through evidence, and (iv) emphasizing the critical role of knowledge and lessons learned in the design of Bank operations.


The Microeconomic, Institutional and Development Impact Division (ECMR.2) focuses on microeconomic issues related to development finance, infrastructure development, private sector development, industrial organization, governance, competitiveness and investment climate, agriculture, institutions, and regional integration to support the Bank’s High 5s.

More importantly, ECMR.2 is the institutional anchor of the ex-ante Additionality and Development Outcome Assessment (ADOA) and the impact evaluation of the Bank’s operations. The ADOA team performs independent assessments of two important dimensions of each non-sovereign operation.

The first one is Additionality: What do Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) bring to the operation that commercial sources alone cannot or do not bring?

The second one is Developmental Outcomes: What are the expected development outcomes from the operation? As such, ADOA assists the Board and Senior Management in the screening and selection of operations that the Bank would support. It is a key element of the Bank’s results framework and the primary tool for mainstreaming development outcomes.

Given its ADOA role, ECMR.2 is also frequently involved in the development of the Bank’s strategic and policy documents and other high-level working groups and task forces.