News-African Economic Outlook

African Economic Outlook Report 2014 – “Global Value Chains and Africa’s industrialization”

The African Economic Outlook (AEO) Report is an annual publication jointly prepared and published by the AfDB, the OECD Development Center and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It provides comprehensive and comparable data and analysis of the 54 African economies. The AEO is the only resource on Africa which employs a cross-country, macro-economic framework, allowing for comparative analysis both over time and across countries.

Each year, the AEO focuses on a specific and critical theme on Africa’s emerging socioeconomic development issues. The theme is carefully selected in consultation among all partner institutions.

The theme for the AEO 2014 report – “Global Value Chains and Africa’s Industrialization” – is closely aligned with the theme for the 2014 Bank Group Annual Meetings. It brings a fresh perspective to Africa’s participation in global value chains and shows how the continent is adapting to increasingly fragmented production processes. In particular, the 2014 report highlights the state of play in Africa with respect to industrialization, and what policy instruments are needed for African countries to maximize the gains that global value chains can offer, ensuring that they have a positive impact on socially inclusive development.

The synopsis of country case studies shows that Africa’s participation in global value chains is currently limited to lower value activities although opportunities exist for upgrading to higher levels. African countries can further integrate into global value chains by opening up to trade, targeting regional and emerging markets, modernizing infrastructure, promoting local entrepreneurship, and investing in technical education.

Since its inception, the African Economic Outlook has gained both in analytical rigour and readership, making it a hugely anticipated premier publication on Africa’s development prospects. The key objectives of the AEO exercise are to broaden the knowledge base on African economies and to offer valuable and evidence-based support for policymaking, investment decisions, and donors’ interventions. The report has also proven as a tool for strengthening capacity-building for economists in the partner institutions and local experts in the countries covered, thereby reinforcing ownership and the sustainability of the exercise.