Africa's expanding domestic markets offer opportunities for modernizing production systems: report

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-07 22:32:16|Editor: yan
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ADDIS ABABA, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- Africa's expanding domestic markets offer great opportunities in effectively transforming production systems across the continent, according to the African Union's (AU's) latest flagship economic report.

The African Development Dynamics (AfDD) 2019, which is the AU's flagship economic report produced in collaboration with OECD Development Center and published on late Wednesday under the theme "Achieving Productive Transformation in Africa," also emphasized the need to accelerate Africa's economic transformation through strong public-private partnership.

"African firms are the key to the economic transformation of the continent, but they need governments to create better conditions for them to thrive," the report said.

According to the newly published economic report, the African continent recorded an average of 4.6 percent annual GDP growth between 2000 and 2018, with domestic demand accounting for 69 percent of the annual growth.

Projecting the African continent to GDP growth at 3.6 percent in 2019, the report which was published for the second time this year noted that Africa's GDP growth trend "should remain robust at 3.9 percent between 2020 and 2023."

The regional demand for processed food is growing 1.5 times faster than the global average. Large Pan-African firms and some dynamic start-ups are seizing these opportunities to grow, the report highlighted.

The report, however, stressed that "without bold policy changes, most African businesses may not be ready for reaping the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area Africa (AfCFTA), which is projected to offer African firms new opportunities of a 1.2 billion strong continental market."

It emphasized that Africa needs more dynamic enterprises to turn these opportunities into higher profits, more investment and new jobs. This is especially true of small and medium enterprises in employment-intensive sectors.

The report also described Africa's ongoing progress in quality jobs as "too slow," in which almost 91 percent of the workforce outside of the agricultural sector in some African countries remains in informal and vulnerable employment.

Victor Harison, Economic Affairs Commissioner at the African Union (AU), said during the report launching that "accelerating the development of Africa's productive sectors is critical to meeting the objectives of the AU's Agenda 2063."

"We must shake the structure of our economies to create strong, robust and inclusive growth, with new jobs and opportunities for all," the AU Economic Affairs Commissioner said.

The AfDD 2019 also puts forward a systemic approach to productive transformation by focusing on the development of effective clusters of firms, promoting the creation of regional production networks, and enhancing African firms' abilities to thrive in new markets.