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Industrialisation and Trade Corner

Harnessing productive sectors’ through value chains to enhance intra-African trade and regional integration

Integrating Africa is the AfDB Group’s blog on regional integration in Africa. It chronicles the issues arising from African countries’ efforts as they work to pool resources and integrate their economies for the development of their regional and individual economies.

27 Apr 2018

Optimizing innovative finance in Africa’s energy sector

Africa is energy rich. Its solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal power resources offer a remarkable opportunity to build low-carbon energy systems for all. Yet more than 640 million people, or two-thirds of the continent’s population, live without electricity. Lack of energy and inefficiencies in the energy supply have huge costs. Power shortages reduce economic growth by 2-4% annually and badly affect key economic sectors. Between 2010 and 2015, Ghana’s economy lost approximately US $24 billion due to an energy crisis. The need to act on energy is more urgent today as...
21 Mar 2018

Why Africa must shift from dependence to diversification, now

Over the last decade, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has experienced historically high economic growth rates. The region has made significant social progress too. These gains have largely been driven by favourable commodity prices, financing conditions and improvement in macroeconomic management. However, the high growth rates have not been sustained for long periods in many of these African countries. The plunge in prices of commodities like oil, copper and cocoa, with its resultant adverse impact on many economies reveals how dependent African countries are on natural resources....
10 Nov 2017

The 2017 GBF Africa Global Business Forum Special - Investing Responsibly in Africa’s Human Capital

For many developing countries, building a skilled workforce can be a major challenge. In a digital age where an increasing number of traditional jobs are being replaced with technology, it is crucial for emerging markets to build a knowledge economy where their citizens can contribute to their nations’ sustainable development. However, history shows that in many countries, international companies and expatriates have often gone in, done the work, reaped the rewards and left. In sub-Saharan Africa – the region with the world’s youngest and fastest growing population – investing in human...
19 Oct 2017

The importance of numbers: how to make extractive resources count for Africa

As African resource-rich countries battle with the macroeconomic impact of the dip in global commodity prices, many look back at the 2004-2013 upswing in the commodity cycle and consider whether African countries, and their citizens, made the best out of them. Asymmetric information between governments and private investors, as well as weaknesses in designing fiscal frameworks are among the reasons why the benefits of extraction might have fallen short of expectations. How can African governments equip themselves to reap a larger slice of rewards when commodity prices start climbing...
11 Oct 2017

Can the Continental FTA improve Africa’s poor intra-regional trade performance?

Introduction Closer economic integration is a prescription frequently advocated for the African continent, and enthusiastically endorsed by politicians and business alike. Accordingly, the continent does not lack integration schemes, generally dubbed ‘Regional Economic Communities’ (RECs) – 14 in all. Frequently countries are members of two RECs, occasionally three (Swaziland comes to mind). If enthusiasm was a guide, all should be well on the regional economic integration front in Africa. Yet all is not well. Compared to other regions of the world, intra-Africa exports, at...
05 Sep 2017

Bringing policymakers together to turn extractives into development outcomes

Turning extractive resources (mining, oil and gas) into development outcomes has proven to be a challenge for African governments and developing countries in general. The channels linking minerals in the ground with higher living standards are complex. This article sets out some thoughts that the authors would like to share and also, initiatives taken by the African Development Bank and the Collaborative African Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI) to help African governments on the issue. Managing risks The first step for developing countries is to mitigate the economic risks presented...