Large infrastructure gaps, climate change, high speed of urbanisation, and a youthful and rapidly growing population will influence the future pace of growth in Africa.
Most African countries that are today considered low income will transit to middle income within 15 years, and all but one will be middle income by 2050, according to the Annual Trends and Outlook Report (ATOR), released Tuesday, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The ATOR, released by the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS), a programme facilitated by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), examines the current and future trends that are likely to shape the trajectory of African economies.
As the second-fastest growing region in the world, Africa has enjoyed robust economic growth in recent years. However, that progress has not been enough to make up for the lost decades of economic stagnation that preceded the recent recovery. And secondly, the benefits of this growth have not trickled down to the wider population. Today, too many people experience poverty and food scarcity.
“While the recent growth performance is encouraging, African counties still face major challenges in terms of reducing poverty and eliminating hunger and malnutrition“, said Ousmane Badiane, IFPRI director for Africa.
“This report shows that policymakers need to continue to refine policies, improve institutions and increase investments to sustain and accelerate the pace of growth as well as its inclusivity or broadness – and the outcomes of their decisions can be the difference between persistent poverty and future shared prosperity for many of Africa’s most vulnerable populations“, Badiane noted.
The report findings include: Africa south of the Sahara is projected to experience more sustained economic growth in GDP per capita between now and 2030 and 2050; by 2050, climate change will result in a 25 percent increase in cereal prices compared with a no climate change scenario.
Trends that are likely to influence the trajectory of African economies include: more volatile food and energy prices; rapid urbanisation, increasing incomes, and the rise of a middle class; rapid increase in a young population entering the labour force; greater climate variability, and agriculture as the largest source of employment.
The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) seeks sustainable solutions for ending hunger and poverty. IFPRI was established in 1975 to identify and analyse alternative national and international strategies and policies for meeting the food needs of the developing world, with particular emphasis on low-income countries and on the poorer groups in those countries.