The regional demand for processed food has been growing 1.5 times faster than the global average. Large Pan-African firms and some dynamic start-ups are seizing these opportunities to grow, as highlighted in the report.

However, the report finds that Africa needs more dynamic enterprises to turn these opportunities into higher profits, more investment and new, decent jobs. This is especially true of small and medium enterprises in employment-intensive sectors. Progress in quality job creation is too slow: in some countries, almost 91 per cent of the workforce outside of the agricultural sector remain in informal and vulnerable employment.  

A systemic approach to productive transformation

The report puts forward a systemic approach to productive transformation by focusing on three sets of policies:

1. Develop effective clusters of firms, by providing them with business services that improve specialisation in niches, reinforce linkages between the most productive ones and the others, and address skill shortages.