Unusual circumstances for launch of African Economic Outlook 2003

OECD Observer

The 2002/2003 edition of the joint African Development Bank/OECD Development Centre African Economic Outlook (AEO) was launched at OECD Headquarters in Paris on 3 March in unusually dramatic circumstances.

The launch was initially planned for the fourth International Forum on African Perspectives which should have been held by the two institutions on 3-4 March in the premises of the French Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry.

In the event, the unstable situation in Abidjan, the Côte d’Ivoire host city of the ADB, resulted in the evacuation of the Bank’s staff and their inability to participate in the Forum, which was consequently postponed.

With the benediction of the ADB partners, the OECD Development Centre went ahead with the launch. Joint co-ordinator of the AEO, Jean-Claude Berthélemy, alongside co-author Lucia Wegner, presented the main findings of the 2002/2003 edition, the most outstanding of which was that African countries’ greatest obstacle to development is the lack of three ingredients: good governance, trained people and management skills. One result: the privatisation process had been uneven and had not contributed to growth and reform as it should.

This, in a context of reliance on a small number of commodities, had led to a growth forecast for the continent as a whole of 3.3%, far short of the 7% estimated by the NEPAD and its supporters as being necessary for African countries to begin to catch up with the rest of the world.

For more on African Economic Outlook, contact Colm.Foy@oecd.org or visit the web site by clicking the link below.

©OECD Observer March 2003

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