African Economic Outlook 2019: Africa growth prospects remain steady. Photo: Agencies Photo.

African Economic Outlook 2019: Africa growth prospects remain steady. Photo: Agencies Photo.


AfDB presents 2019 African Economic Outlook to AU on Friday


The African development Bank (AfDB) will tomorrow present the 2019 edition of its flagship African Economic Outlook (AEO) report under the theme “regional integration for Africa’s economic prosperity—integration not just for trade and economic cooperation but also for the delivery of regional public goods”.

The presentation will be done on the sidelines of the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union.

According to AfDB, the annual AEO highlights economic prospects and projections for the entire continent and for each of the 54 countries.

“The 2019 AEO aligns with the mission of the African Union to “promote sustainable development at the economic, social and cultural levels as well as the integration of African economies,” said AfDB in a statement.

“This year’s African Economic Outlook from the African Development Bank shows that the continent’s general economic performance continues to improve. Gross domestic product reached an estimated 3.5 percent in 2018, about the same as in 2017 and up from 2.1 percent in 2016. Africa’s GDP growth is projected to accelerate to 4.0 percent in 2019 and 4.1 percent in 2020.”

New research for this Outlook shows that five trade policy actions could bring Africa’s total gains to 4.5 percent of its GDP, or $134 billion a year. First is eliminating all of today’s applied bilateral tariffs in Africa. Second is keeping rules of origin simple, flexible, and transparent. Third is removing all nontariff barriers on goods and services trade on a most-favored-nation basis. Fourth is implementing the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement to reduce the time it takes to cross borders and the transaction costs tied to nontariff measures. Fifth is negotiating with other developing countries to reduce by half their tariffs and nontariff barriers on a most-favored-nation basis.

The 2019 Outlook also looks at the gains possible from regional public goods, such as synchronizing financial governance frameworks, pooling power, opening skies to competition, and opening borders to free movements of people, goods, and services.

In its last part, the report provides short-to-medium term forecasts on the evolution of key macroeconomic indicators for all 54 regional member countries, as well as analysis on the state of socio-economic challenges and progress made in each country. This adds granularity to the more aggregated analysis conducted in the first part of the report.

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