Launch of the African Economic Outlook Report 2014

Sep 10, 2014

Today’s Launch of the African Economic Outlook Report 2014

Khartoum, September 10th, 2014 – The 13th Edition of the African Economic Outlook  Report for 2014 was launched today with participation of policy makers, ambassadors of African countries, national and international development partners, and the media. The occasion took place at Mamoun Behiery Centre (MBC), where representatives of the Government, African Development Bank (AfDB), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and MBC addressed the event.

The Director of the General Directorate of International Cooperation, Ministry of Finance and National Economy, Omer Mohamed Ahmed said “The African Economic Outlook Report is a very important publication for us as policy makers as it remains the main source of African economic indicators and a useful analytical tool for our strategic economic and development planning.”

The Report is one of the AfDB’s flagship publications, aimed at informing academics, policy makers and development practitioners about the performance of Africa’s macroeconomic aggregates, and how these are impacting on the ordinary citizens. Each year, the report focuses on a theme of importance to the continent’s development aspirations. The theme for 2014 is “Global Value Chains and Africa’s Industrialization”, and the report covers all of the 54 countries.

The Resident Representative of the AfDB in Sudan, Abdul B. Kamara said “The Report indicates that industrialization has a prominent role to play in Africa’s development, as it helps economies to develop their local value chains to join regional and global market. However, it is clear that industrialization cannot proceed without first developing the agricultural sector as a prerequisite for growth and development.”

With regard to the growth performance of the continent as a whole, the report projects that Africa’s growth will accelerate to 4.8 percent in 2014 and 5 to 6 percent in 2015, levels which have not been seen since the global economic crisis of 2009. In order to sustain the economic growth and ensure that it creates opportunities for all; African countries should build resilience and exercise prudent macro management.

The report argues that the continent needs to avoid getting stuck in low value-added activities. For instance, Africa’s exports to the rest of the world grew faster than those of any other region in 2012, but they remain dominated by primary commodities and accounted for only 3.5 percent of the world merchandise exports in 2012. Avoiding that trap involves investing in productive sectors, building skills, creating jobs and acquiring new technology, knowledge and market information.

Abdel-Rahman Ghandour, UNDP Deputy Country Director for Programmes “The Report shows us that human development is on the rise in the region evident by the lower poverty levels, rising incomes and improving rates of school enrollment and health coverage but the pace is slow and uneven. Inclusion, youth empowerment, gender equality, and environmental sustainability emerge as key themes in the Report and UNDP would like to emphasise their critical importance in the context of Sudan.”

For Sudan, the report states that the country’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 3.6% in 2013, up from 1.4% in 2012, driven by agriculture and mining as well as the oil transit fees with South Sudan. However, inflation remained high (36.2%), reflecting the combined effect of inflationary financing, the devaluation of the currency and high energy prices. It is estimated that real growth will recede slightly in 2014 to 2.7% and is projected at 3.8% in 2015. Inflation is estimated to drop by 9.4 percentage points in 2014, and projected at 23.2% for 2015.  The report also states that repercussions of the July 2011 secession from South Sudan, together with the economic sanctions continue to aggravate the economic challenges of the Sudan.

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