African Economic Outlook

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The African Development Bank launched the 2018 edition of its yearly flagship report, the African Economic Outlook (AEO), on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at its headquarters in Abidjan. As a leading African institution, the Bank is the first to provide headline numbers on Africa’s macroeconomic performance and outlook.

The African Economic Outlook bridges a critical knowledge gap on the diverse socio-economic realities of African economies through regular, rigorous, and comparative analysis. It provides short-to-medium term forecasts on the evolution of key macroeconomic indicators for all 54 regional member countries, as well as analysis on the state of socio-economic challenges and progress made in each country.

It presents the African Development Bank staff economists’ analyses of African economic development during the previous year and near term. It has become the main flagship report for the African Development Bank, as well as reference material for those interested in Africa’s development, including researchers, investors, civil society organizations, and development partners.

The January release provides a rigorous and comprehensive analysis of the state of African economy, country profiles with key recent developments and prospects for each country, while a set of Regional Economic Outlooks for Africa’s five sub regions will be available soon. These self-contained, independent reports, will focus on priority areas of concern for each sub region and provide analysis of the economic and social landscape.

As before, a full set of updated growth projections will be released in May for the Annual Meetings.



2018 Edition by chapter

Chapter 1 - Africa’s macroeconomic performance and prospects

This chapter reviews Africa’s economic performance in 2017 and presents forecasts of GDP growth for 2018–19. It analyses growth outcomes and discusses some of the macroeconomic shocks and vulnerabilities African countries face and how they have affected development financing. 

Chapter 2 - Growth, jobs, and poverty in Africa

Africa’s growth momentum in the past 25 years has been remarkable by historical standards. Was it marked by growth dynamics that presage sustained growth? Were growth episodes accompanied by shifts in economic fundamentals? Has growth in Africa been job creating and inclusive? What are the common threads that connect rapid growth with continuous expansion in employment opportunities?

This chapter explores these issues and provides insights and evidence on the character of long-term growth and its link with jobs and poverty. 

Chapter 3 - Africa's Infrastructure: Great potential but little impact 

Africa must industrialize to end poverty and to generate employment for the 10-12 million young people who join its labor force every year. One of the key factors retarding industrialization has been the insufficient stock of productive infrastructure in power, water, and transport services that would allow firms to thrive in industries with strong comparative advantages.

Chapter 4 - Financing Africa’s infrastructure: New strategies, mechanisms, and instruments

The excess savings in many advanced countries could be channeled into financing profitable infrastructure projects in Africa. That this mutually profitable global transaction is not taking place is one of the biggest paradoxes of current times.

More than $100 trillion is managed by institutional investors and commercial banks globally. African countries seeking financial resources now have a wide variety of options, well beyond foreign aid. Many new financing mechanisms could be implemented in all African countries, taking into account the specific economic circumstances and the productive structures of national economies.


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