The Commissioner for Economic Affairs at the African Union Commission, Victor Harison, has described the 2019 African Economic Outlook (AEO) as an important forecast for African policy makers to build their yearly economic projections and planning.
Harison spoke before ambassadors, ministers, policy makers, researchers, and economic experts at an event held Friday on the sidelines of the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in Addis Ababa.
The Commissioner hailed the publication as an important document “which enables the continent’s political decision-makers to embrace the recommendations it makes.” His thoughts were echoed by Ethiopia’s Minister of Finance, Ahmed Shide, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)’s representative.
Harison congratulated the Bank for publishing the Outlook at the beginning of the year, noting with satisfaction that the 2019 Report “includes an improvement of domestic resources mobilization…We must increase productivity and continue to work for a better domestic resources mobilization.”
Ahmed Shide, Ethiopia’s Minister of Finance commended the publication as an important knowledge product that examines the current state of economic and social developments in Africa, and provides yearly projections.
“It is a testimony to the Bank’s broader capacity to support the African continent through analytical work and policy advice, in addition to its traditional role of providing development finance,” Shide said.
“This year’s theme is particularly important for the continent in general and Ethiopia in particular, as one of the African champions of regional integration,” he concluded.
Panelists included Gabriel Negatu, the Bank’s Director General for East Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office; Hanan Morsy, Director of Macroeconomics Policy, Forecasting and Research Department; and Stephen Karingi, Director at ECA.
Negatu described the report as a “must –read publication with a unique section on ‘how to implement’ for policy makers.”
The African Economic Outlook is published yearly by the African Development Bank, and bridges a significant knowledge gap in African economies through regular, rigorous, and comparative analysis. It highlights economic prospects and projections for the continent as a whole and for each of the 54 countries.
This year’s theme: “Integration for Africa’s Economic Prosperity” aligns with the mission of the African Union to “promote sustainable development at the economic, social and cultural levels as well as the integration of African economies.”
“The African Economic Outlook always provides good contribution to the discussion of Africa’s economic situation and key policy issues, and this edition is no different,” said Stephen Karingi, Director at ECA.
Over the last decade, the AEO report has become a reference for Africa’s development stakeholders for the originality of its analytical content and policy recommendations. Through the AEO, the Bank aims at providing a comprehensive and rigorous analysis, reliable and up-to-date information and reference material on Africa’s development challenges for researchers, investors, civil society organizations, development partners, and the media.
At the core of African integration, the African Economic Outlook suggests that “a borderless Africa” is one of the key foundations of a competitive continental market that could serve as a global business center.”
The African Economic Outlook presentation is an opportunity to strengthen the collaboration and partnership between the African Development Bank and the African Union. The Addis event follows the official launch of the report on 17 January at the Bank’s headquarters in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
Five regional economic reports will be launched later this month across the continent, with a view to providing more targeted and specific forecasts.