This twelfth edition of the African Economic Outlook report coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Organisation of African Unity, now the African Union. By drawing the big picture of the continent’s economic performance, while capturing the diversity of its achievements and identifying challenges at national level, our report provides a timely analysis of the recent economic developments underpinning Africa’s progress towards freedom, unity and better lives for Africans.
We find that over the last decade greater stability, sound macroeconomic policies, improved terms of trade and blossoming partnerships with emerging economies have widened the economic policy space of African policy makers: African nations are freer than ever to choose their own development paths. Indeed, the continent’s economic outlook for 2013 and 2014 is promising, confirming its healthy resilience to internal and external shocks and its role as a growth pole in an ailing global economy. Africa´s economy is projected to grow by 4.8% in 2013 and accelerate further to 5.3% in 2014. The main sources of dynamism are expected to be the expansion of agricultural production, robust growth in services and a rise in oil production and mining. This relatively broad-based pattern of growth will be underpinned by the continued increase of external financial flows and a resurgence in domestic demand driven by consumption and investment.