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Experts seek adoption of AfDB’s report for economic growth


The continent’s financial experts and leaders of thought have described the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) African Economic Outlook (AEO) 2020 as a blueprint needed to address the continent’s human capacity gap.

At the 33rd African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa, Caleb Meakins, a social entrepreneur, global campaigner against poverty and TedX speaker, held that if the recommendations in the African Economic Outlook are implemented, there is no stopping the continent.”

For Victor Harison, the AU commissioner for Economic Affairs, the report “reminds us of the size of the investment that must be made in the development of human capital in Africa.”


The 2020 edition of the flagship report, under the theme Developing Africa’s workforce of the future, was presented at a side event attended by policymakers, global and regional development organisations, civil society, the media, and academia.

The Commissioner for Economic Affairs at the African Union Commission, Victor Harison, observed that the report tackled the challenges of human capital development “from a different perspective and focusing on the development of Africa’s workforce for the future through the prism of education, skills, and infrastructure.

“The facts mentioned in the second part of this report are striking. It reminds us of the size of the investment that must be made in the development of human capital in Africa, an essential component for achieving productive transformation”.


The Secretary-General of the African Development Bank, Vincent Nmehielle, said the African Economic Outlook had become the blueprint for planning and for sound economic research about the continent.”The question then is: why are we presenting the report at the African Union? This is where Africa’s socio-economic policy and political decisions are made. It is therefore important that heads of state know the key policy recommendations for the year,” he said.

The Ethiopian Commissioner for job creation, Ephrem Lemango, highlighted a key part of the report on the importance of expanding education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“In Ethiopia STEM represents 70 per cent of graduates. Still, jobs need to be created for these graduates,” he said.


The Chief Economist at the African Export-Import Bank, Hippolyte Fofack, said the 2020 African Economic Outlook is timely because the skills to develop African economies are not yet developed.

Fofack highlighed the importance of skills and youth entrepreneurship capacity to the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

For Hanan Morsy, the director of Macroeconomic Forecasting and Research at the African Development Bank, education was essential to fight poverty and inequality.

Africa’s economic growth remained stable in 2019 at 3.4 per cent and is on course to pick up to 3.9 per cent in 2020 and 4.1 per cent in 2021, the 2020 African Economic Outlook revealed.

“Investing in both education and infrastructure offers a greater growth payoff than investing exclusively in either. Working together, we can achieve it,” she said.


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