Africa’s outlook

The latest African Economic Outlook from the OECD Development Centre, which looks at prospects for 29 countries, reports that economic activity overall in Africa rose by nearly 5% in 2005 amid windfall gains from booming markets in oil and minerals. The African Economic Outlook sees growth accelerating to 5.8% in 2006 and easing to 5.5% in 2007. These figures hide large differences between countries, particularly in light of endowments in natural resources.
Average economic growth rates of African regions, %
Region2005(e)2006(p)2006(p)
Central Africa4.85.03.6
East Africa5.65.35.6
North Africa4.86.35.6
Southern Africa5.06.05.7
West Africa4.45.35.5
Total4.95.85.5

Note: Due to lack of data, these aggregates do not include Liberia and Somalia.
Authors' (e) estimates; (p) projection.
Source: African Economic OutlookBut they also conceal the danger of over-dependence on too few commodities. If diversification does not take place, giving rise to internal sources of growth, the future could be more fragile. The report urges governments and their partners to capitalise on any windfall gains from strong markets to reduce poverty and improve the social infrastructure. Wasting such a bounty, however, is an abiding danger, the report warns. For those economies without high-demand natural resources, the report calls for more targeted aid.Despite some success stories, transport is one area in need of particular action. A special focus in the 588-page report concludes that a redefined role for the public sector in ensuring proper planning and regulation, as well as partnerships and donor involvement, would improve the network to Africa’s wider benefit.©OECD Observer No. 255, May 2006OECD (2006), African Economic Outlook, Development Centre, Paris. Available at www.oecdbookshop.org.


Economic data

E-Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the latest news from the OECD by signing up for our e-newsletter :

Twitter feed

Suscribe now

<b>Subscribe now!</b>

To receive your exclusive paper editions delivered to you directly


Online edition
Previous editions

Don't miss

  • How do the largest community of British expats living in Spain feel about Brexit? Britons living in Orihuela Costa, Alicante give their views.
  • Brexit is taking up Europe's energy and focus, according to OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. Watch video.
  • OECD Chief Economist Catherine Mann and former Bank of England Governor Mervyn King discuss the economic merits of a US border adjustment tax and the outlook for US economic growth.
  • Africa's cities at the forefront of progress: Africa is urbanising at a historically rapid pace coupled with an unprecedented demographic boom. By 2050, about 56% of Africans are expected to live in cities. This poses major policy challenges, but make no mistake: Africa’s cities and towns are engines of progress that, if harnessed correctly, can fuel the entire continent’s sustainable development.
  • OECD Observer i-Sheet Series: OECD Observer i-Sheets are smart contents pages on major issues and events. Use them to find current or recent articles, video, books and working papers. To browse on paper and read on line, or simply download.
  • How sustainable is the ocean as a source of economic development? The Ocean Economy in 2030 examines the risks and uncertainties surrounding the future development of ocean industries, the innovations required in science and technology to support their progress, their potential contribution to green growth and some of the implications for ocean management.
  • The OECD Gender Initiative examines existing barriers to gender equality in education, employment, and entrepreneurship. The gender portal monitors the progress made by governments to promote gender equality in both OECD and non-OECD countries and provides good practices based on analytical tools and reliable data.
  • They are green and local --It’s a new generation of entrepreneurs in Kenya with big dreams of sustainable energy and the drive to see their innovative technologies throughout Africa. blogs.worldbank.org
  • Interested in a career in Paris at the OECD? The OECD is a major international organisation, with a mission to build better policies for better lives. With our hub based in one of the world's global cities and offices across continents, find out more at www.oecd.org/careers .

Most Popular Articles

OECD Insights Blog

NOTE: All signed articles in the OECD Observer express the opinions of the authors
and do not necessarily represent the official views of OECD member countries.

All rights reserved. OECD 2017