The report Africa’s Development Dynamics 2018 was published by the African Union Commission (AUC) in collaboration with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in July 2018.
The focus on "growth, jobs and inequalities" reveals the mixed performances of different African regions. Moreover, the publication highlights the importance of accelerating the structural transformation of African economies.
The report finds that a favourable trend in commodities prices, strong domestic demand, progress in the pursuit of macroeconomic policies and strategies to diversify national economies have been major drivers of the continent's recent growth, which is forecast to reach 4 per cent annually between 2018 and 2020.
The decision by certain countries to increase investment in infrastructure and the growing number of commercial partnerships - with China, India and other emerging countries - have also proved judicious.
Since the beginning of the century, Africa has ranked second behind Asia on the leaderboard of the world's fastest-growing regions, with an average annual growth in gross domestic product (GDP) of 4.7 per cent between 2000 and 2017. This level of growth has, however, been insufficient to trigger fundamental changes.
This growth has not created enough decent jobs, 282 million people are currently working in unstable employment. Furthermore, growth in Africa has less of an impact than elsewhere in the world on reducing inequalities and improving well-being.
Growth is still inconsistent; between 2016 and 2020, just three of the continent’s 55 countries should reach the targeted average annual growth of over 7 per cent set by the African Union's Agenda 2063.
Attention is drawn to the need to increase productivity: African businesses are lagging far behind the rest of the world in sectors with high job-creation potential, such as agribusiness, construction, leather, light manufacturing and logistical services.
The report stresses that public action is the key to improved performances when it comes to growth, jobs and inequalities. Domestic strategies are more effective when they encourage good inter-sectoral co-ordination of government action, the active participation of economic stakeholders and citizens, and a regional approach to development.
Download report Africa’s Development Dynamics 2018