Bank Group Hosts African Economic Outlook 2010 Peer Review Meeting in Tunis
The Bank Group on Monday, February 8, 2010, in Tunis started a three-day-long African Economic Outlook (AEO) 2010 Peer Review Meeting. The meeting brought together the core team of AEO chapter authors, along with a team of peers and experts to review various country notes that are currently under preparation. The specific objectives of the meeting were to share progress to date on the various AEO 2010 chapters; get personalized guidance on the AEO 2010 model forecasts for the respective countries, as well as integrate expert and peer viewpoints. The meeting also sought to bring new team members up to speed on upcoming aspects of the AEO 2010 project cycle while sharing with all team members, the effective development practices for the project.
Some fifty country notes are expected to be reviewed during this session, with focus on domestic resource mobilization, fiscal governance and aid. Speaking on the occasion for the Economic Development and Research Department (EDRE), Peter Walkenhorst, underscored that it was challenging meeting at a time when there are still uncertainties about the global economy and its repercussion on Africa. “The objective of the meeting is to make a good forecast for Africa and produce an interesting AEO 2010,” he explained.
Authors, discussants and session chairs were split into three concurrent sessions for the country review and another session for a one-on-one review of model forecasts. A special session is expected to hold on select countries, as well as a summary discussion on overall outlook for the African continent. At the end of the brainstorming session on Wednesday, the experts will come up with a summary overview of key messages from individual country forecast, as well as a dissemination strategy and AEO future themes.
The African Economic Outlook is a collaborative project between the AfDB, the OECD Development Centre and UNECA with financial support from the European Union Commission. For the past nine years, AEO has served as a dependable source of reference for those seeking reliable and informed country-based analyses of macro-economic development in Africa. The meeting brought together some sixty participants.
Laura Recuero Virto
Laura Recuero Virto, Economist, OECD Development Centre, Europe, Middle East and Africa Desk: “Through this kind of collaborative project, the AEO gains legitimacy because of the number of institutions involved in its implementation.”Question: What is your appreciation of OECD’s collaboration with the AfDB and UNECA on the African Economic Outlook?
Response: This is an exemplary collaboration worth holding. There is a multiplicity of experience and different points of views to be shared here. The collaboration also shows how different institutions and experts from different backgrounds can work together to build a common document, and to be able to join forces to provide views on future growth prospects in Africa. Through this kind of collaborative project, the AEO gains legitimacy because of the number of institutions involved in its implementation.
Question: The Bank Group played its role, assisting its member countries hit by the global financial crisis. In the aftermath of the crisis, what do you think it also has to do to drive growth for sustainable development?
Response: Growth has already been very good in Africa in 2009. What the Bank Group needs to do at this moment is to take advantage of the fact that Africa is moving ahead in terms of growth to really invest in infrastructure and overcome other market constraints.
Professor John Anyanwu, Lead Research Economist, African Development Bank Research Department: “Concrete agenda for a timely and comprehensive infrastructure project implementation should be devised in Mauritius, given that earmarked funds are already available”
Question: Mauritus is one of those African countries that were hit by the financial crisis. In what specific sectors do you think investment should now be made to drive the country’s growth?
Response: Thank you for providing this opportunity. Actually, real GDP growth for Mauritius in 2009 was estimated at 2.8% lower than the 5.1% attained in 2008. The lower growth, in spite of some resilience and substantial stimulus packages, had been attributed largely to weakening external demands for textiles and tourism services, consequent upon the global financial and economic crisis, especially in European countries, Mauritius main trading partners and sources of tourists’ arrivals.
Huge investments in infrastructure and education will be vital if a shift towards a service-oriented economy and sustainable economic growth and development are to be attained. This is why it is important that a concrete agenda for a timely and comprehensive infrastructure project implementation be devised given that earmarked funds are already available.
Frederica Marzo, Economiste, OCDE, Bureau pour l’Afrique et le Moyen Orient : «Le rapport sur les PEA est le fruit d’une collaboration entre experts de divers horizons et de diverses organisations … Il s’agit d’un exemple réussi de partenariat entre plusieurs grandes institutions »
Question : Dans quelle mesure peut-on dire que le rapport sur les perspectives économiques est une publication de référence et que pensez-vous de cette collaboration BAD-OCDE et UNECA ?
Réponse : Il s’agit d’un exemple réussi de partenariat entre plusieurs grandes institutions : le Groupe de la BAD, la Commission économique des Nations Unies pour l’Afrique et l’OCDE. C’est une expérience réussie de collaboration. Du point de vue du contenu, cette collaboration unit la connaissance approfondie de l’institution africaine qu’est la BAD, avec la qualité d’analyse de l’OCDE. Ce qu’il convient de retenir à ce stade, c’est que le rapport est élaboré sur la base des connaissances développées en Afrique. Il contribue à fortifier les bureaux de statistiques des gouvernements. Ce rapport contribue également à faire du Groupe de la BAD, le centre de connaissance sur l’Afrique. Le rapport sur les PEA est le fruit d’une collaboration entre experts de divers horizons et de diverses organisations. Ces rapports présentent une analyse globale du développement économique, social et politique du continent et les publications sont produites selon le processus participatif dont je viens de vous parler.
UNECA, Macroeconomic Analysis Section Chief, Adam Elhiraika: ”Speaking in one voice and delivering strong and comprehensive massages maximize the impact of the contributions made by the three institutions to help them avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts”.
Question: To what extent do you think this collaborative project among UNECA, AfDB and OECD is an added value to the African Economic Outlook Report ?
Reponse: Collaboration between UNECA, AfDB and OECD adds value to the AEO in terms of the coverage of development challenges, quality of analysis and recommendations and impacts. Each of the institutions brings different perspectives and insight into Africa’s development issues and challenges based on their expertise and competence in areas such as political, economic and corporate governance; regional integration; and financial development. Speaking in one voice and delivering strong and comprehensive massages maximize the impact of contributions made by the three institutions to help them avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts.
Willi Leibfritz, African Economic Outlook Coordinator: “We see clear signs of improvements in the world economy and also in most African economies”
Question: In your capacity as the AfDB African Economic Outlook Coordinator, what were your expectations especially when concluding your presentation this morning, you said “Let’s together make a good forecast for Africa and produce an interesting African Economic Outlook 2010?
Response: Bringing UNECA, AfDB and OECD experts together for a collaborative project is a very challenging meeting. The objective of this meeting is to make a good economic forecast for Africa and to prepare an interesting AEO 2010. We see clear signs of improvements in the world economy and also in most African economies. At the same time, there are still uncertainties about the sustainability of recent recoveries. So there is much to be discussed in our various sessions.