Africa Overview

    Context

    The global economic expansion is set to accelerate, but downside risks persist.  Economic activity was robust in much of Sub-Saharan Africa in 2013, supported by strong investment demand and robust private consumption. 

    The region’s growth prospects remain favorable despite emerging challenges, such as weaker commodity prices and tighter global financial conditions.  During the period from 1995 to 2013, the region performed strongly, with an average annual GDP growth rate of 4.5%. Growth was broad based, but the drivers of growth varied across countries. Different growth patterns will determine the resilience of growth prospects to changing global conditions.

    Foreign direct investment (FDI) continued to flow to the region, not only in the oil, gas and mining sectors but also in non-extractive industries. Net FDI inflows were an estimated $43 billion in 2013, up from $37 billion in 2012. In many countries, governments launched ambitious investment programs to alleviate infrastructure bottlenecks and increase export capacity, and a number of them issued Eurobonds to finance these expenditures. Gross fixed investments grew an estimated 7.3 percent in 2013, reaching 23.5 percent GDP. Inflation decelerated in many countries, owing to lower food prices and prudent monetary policy; and the low inflation, coupled with an estimated 6.2 percent increase in remittances, supported private consumption. Nevertheless, poverty and unemployment remains high in many countries in the region.

    Across the region, governments have stepped up investment spending. Public investment in most countries in the region—for example, Ethiopia, Ghana, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia—continues to be geared toward the provision of basic infrastructure, such as power generation, roads and port facilities, which remain critical to improving competitiveness in the region.

    However within this impressive economic expansion, there are variations in economic performance across country groups. Within the “resource-rich” country group, the gap in growth between oil and nonoil countries has narrowed. At the same time, several countries within the “non-resource rich” county group have achieved sustained high growth rates for over a decade, such as Ethiopia, Mozambique and Rwanda. South Africa is one of a few countries where growth is lagging behind the levels achieved before the global crisis began.

    Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa has also declined. An estimated 58 percent of people in the region were living on less than US$1.25-day around the turn of the millennium. By 2010, the poverty headcount ratio declined by almost 10 percentage points to an estimated 48.5 percent.

    Last Updated: Mar 27, 2014

    Strategy

    Sub-Saharan Africa features significant diversity among its 48 countries:  the region includes 19 fragile and conflict-affected states, 11 other low-income countries, 13 lower middle income countries, seven upper middle-income countries, and 1 high income country. Development challenges in these countries vary greatly. The World Bank Group continues to engage with all countries across this range to support the broad-based eradication of extreme poverty and to help generate shared prosperity across the Region.

    With strong emphasis on increasing regional and national competitiveness, creating more jobs and opportunities for families, while reducing vulnerability and improving resilience, the World Bank Group works to deepen the impact of its development mission and complement the efforts of other key partners, including African governments and communities, the private sector, civil society, think tanks, and others. The World Bank Africa Region works selectively and focuses on results, flexibility, efficient delivery, and innovation while increasing the use of programmatic approaches and maximizing the performance of its portfolio.

    The Region’s priorities include the following: 

    • Energy: This includes engagement along the full value chain (generation, transmission, distribution and access) with the aim of helping countries reduce the cost of production and improve pricing (through improved generation mix and sector reform).  Clean energy generation (hydro, gas, geothermal) and power pooling (across sub-regions) are being actively pursued.
    • Agriculture: We work to enhance the resilience of agriculture production systems through landscape approaches, including irrigation.  Areas of emphasis include improving the quality of sector policy environment and public spending, and facilitating private sector investments in agriculture that are inclusive, with greater attention to land administration programs.  Pastoralism and agri-business are other major priorities. 
    • Social protection: Extending coverage of social protection systems to help households mitigate shocks and build human capital is a priority, reflected in a quickly expanding social protection portfolio including in Fragile and Conflict-affected States (FCS).
    • Higher education/Science and technology: Investing in skills and education is crucial to reap Africa’s demographic dividend.  Improving the quality of education, science and technology training, spending funds wisely, and exploring appropriate private sector linkages are particularly important. Only 20% of University graduates are trained in the areas of science and technology, and as a result, increasing the gap between the skills needed in the productive sector and the supply from the formal education system. IDA‘s involvement in secondary and tertiary education is expected to grow further.  Basic education will continue to be driven by the Global Partnership for Education.
    • Urban planning: Africa is the continent with the fastest urbanization rate. The disorganized and unplanned urban expansion is becoming an obstacle to economic growth, and will affect productivity growth in the urban space. Integrated urban development, bringing together urban water and sanitation, transport, roads, housing, power, and governance sectors will be a priority in the coming years.  Economic agglomeration (“growth pole”) approaches will be continued.
    • Transport:  Logistics, railway, ports, and urban transport are areas of growth in the Region.
    • Health: Expansion of basic health services to all (Universal Health Coverage), improvement of quality of services, improvement of health systems, and adoption of results-based approaches are priorities.   
    • Natural Resource Management: Our focus here is to help countries manage the development potential of earnings from their extractive industries, including transparency of contracts and ensuring that countries have the capacity to negotiate fair deals in exchange for selling their mineral resources.
    • Data/Statistics: We are actively working with countries to build their statistical capacity and to produce timely, accurate statistics is a priority to understand the poverty dynamics in countries.
    • Trade and Competitiveness:  There is need to increase analytics on firm-level productivity to help increase competitiveness.  There is also need for analytic work and policy dialogue to increase sub-regional trade.
    • Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Development: Improving competitiveness and access to finance are priority areas, with a specific emphasis in helping the local private sector transitioning to more light manufacturing and modern agriculture activities (job creation). 

    STRATEGY

    Sub-Saharan Africa features significant diversity among its 48 countries:  the region includes 19 fragile and conflict-affected states, 11 other low-income countries, 13 lower middle income countries, seven upper middle-income countries, and 1 high income country. Development challenges in these countries vary greatly. The World Bank Group continues to engage with all countries across this range to support the broad-based eradication of extreme poverty and to help generate shared prosperity across the Region.

    With strong emphasis on increasing regional and national competitiveness, creating more jobs and opportunities for families, while reducing vulnerability and improving resilience, the World Bank Group works to deepen the impact of its development mission and complement the efforts of other key partners, including African governments and communities, the private sector, civil society, think tanks, and others. The World Bank Africa Region works selectively and focuses on results, flexibility, efficient delivery, and innovation while increasing the use of programmatic approaches and maximizing the performance of its portfolio.

    The Region’s priorities include the following: 

    • Energy: This includes engagement along the full value chain (generation, transmission, distribution and access) with the aim of helping countries reduce the cost of production and improve pricing (through improved generation mix and sector reform).  Clean energy generation (hydro, gas, geothermal) and power pooling (across sub-regions) are being actively pursued.
    • Agriculture: We work to enhance the resilience of agriculture production systems through landscape approaches, including irrigation.  Areas of emphasis include improving the quality of sector policy environment and public spending, and facilitating private sector investments in agriculture that are inclusive, with greater attention to land administration programs.  Pastoralism and agri-business are other major priorities. 
    • Social protection: Extending coverage of social protection systems to help households mitigate shocks and build human capital is a priority, reflected in a quickly expanding social protection portfolio including in Fragile and Conflict-affected States (FCS).
    • Higher education/Science and technology: Investing in skills and education is crucial to reap Africa’s demographic dividend.  Improving the quality of education, science and technology training, spending funds wisely, and exploring appropriate private sector linkages are particularly important. Only 20% of University graduates are trained in the areas of science and technology, and as a result, increasing the gap between the skills needed in the productive sector and the supply from the formal education system. IDA‘s involvement in secondary and tertiary education is expected to grow further.  Basic education will continue to be driven by the Global Partnership for Education.
    • Urban planning: Africa is the continent with the fastest urbanization rate. The disorganized and unplanned urban expansion is becoming an obstacle to economic growth, and will affect productivity growth in the urban space. Integrated urban development, bringing together urban water and sanitation, transport, roads, housing, power, and governance sectors will be a priority in the coming years.  Economic agglomeration (“growth pole”) approaches will be continued.
    • Transport:  Logistics, railway, ports, and urban transport are areas of growth in the Region.
    • Health: Expansion of basic health services to all (Universal Health Coverage), improvement of quality of services, improvement of health systems, and adoption of results-based approaches are priorities.   
    • Natural Resource Management: Our focus here is to help countries manage the development potential of earnings from their extractive industries, including transparency of contracts and ensuring that countries have the capacity to negotiate fair deals in exchange for selling their mineral resources.
    • Data/Statistics: We are actively working with countries to build their statistical capacity and to produce timely, accurate statistics is a priority to understand the poverty dynamics in countries.
    • Trade and Competitiveness:  There is need to increase analytics on firm-level productivity to help increase competitiveness.  There is also need for analytic work and policy dialogue to increase sub-regional trade.
    • Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Development: Improving competitiveness and access to finance are priority areas, with a specific emphasis in helping the local private sector transitioning to more light manufacturing and modern agriculture activities (job creation). 

    STRATEGY

    Sub-Saharan Africa features significant diversity among its 48 countries:  the region includes 19 fragile and conflict-affected states, 11 other low-income countries, 13 lower middle income countries, seven upper middle-income countries, and 1 high income country. Development challenges in these countries vary greatly. The World Bank Group continues to engage with all countries across this range to support the broad-based eradication of extreme poverty and to help generate shared prosperity across the Region.

    With strong emphasis on increasing regional and national competitiveness, creating more jobs and opportunities for families, while reducing vulnerability and improving resilience, the World Bank Group works to deepen the impact of its development mission and complement the efforts of other key partners, including African governments and communities, the private sector, civil society, think tanks, and others. The World Bank Africa Region works selectively and focuses on results, flexibility, efficient delivery, and innovation while increasing the use of programmatic approaches and maximizing the performance of its portfolio.

    The Region’s priorities include the following: 

    • Energy: This includes engagement along the full value chain (generation, transmission, distribution and access) with the aim of helping countries reduce the cost of production and improve pricing (through improved generation mix and sector reform).  Clean energy generation (hydro, gas, geothermal) and power pooling (across sub-regions) are being actively pursued.
    • Agriculture: We work to enhance the resilience of agriculture production systems through landscape approaches, including irrigation.  Areas of emphasis include improving the quality of sector policy environment and public spending, and facilitating private sector investments in agriculture that are inclusive, with greater attention to land administration programs.  Pastoralism and agri-business are other major priorities. 
    • Social protection: Extending coverage of social protection systems to help households mitigate shocks and build human capital is a priority, reflected in a quickly expanding social protection portfolio including in Fragile and Conflict-affected States (FCS).
    • Higher education/Science and technology: Investing in skills and education is crucial to reap Africa’s demographic dividend.  Improving the quality of education, science and technology training, spending funds wisely, and exploring appropriate private sector linkages are particularly important. Only 20% of University graduates are trained in the areas of science and technology, and as a result, increasing the gap between the skills needed in the productive sector and the supply from the formal education system. IDA‘s involvement in secondary and tertiary education is expected to grow further.  Basic education will continue to be driven by the Global Partnership for Education.
    • Urban planning: Africa is the continent with the fastest urbanization rate. The disorganized and unplanned urban expansion is becoming an obstacle to economic growth, and will affect productivity growth in the urban space. Integrated urban development, bringing together urban water and sanitation, transport, roads, housing, power, and governance sectors will be a priority in the coming years.  Economic agglomeration (“growth pole”) approaches will be continued.
    • Transport:  Logistics, railway, ports, and urban transport are areas of growth in the Region.
    • Health: Expansion of basic health services to all (Universal Health Coverage), improvement of quality of services, improvement of health systems, and adoption of results-based approaches are priorities.   
    • Natural Resource Management: Our focus here is to help countries manage the development potential of earnings from their extractive industries, including transparency of contracts and ensuring that countries have the capacity to negotiate fair deals in exchange for selling their mineral resources.
    • Data/Statistics: We are actively working with countries to build their statistical capacity and to produce timely, accurate statistics is a priority to understand the poverty dynamics in countries.
    • Trade and Competitiveness:  There is need to increase analytics on firm-level productivity to help increase competitiveness.  There is also need for analytic work and policy dialogue to increase sub-regional trade.
    • Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Development: Improving competitiveness and access to finance are priority areas, with a specific emphasis in helping the local private sector transitioning to more light manufacturing and modern agriculture activities (job creation). 

    Last Updated: Mar 27, 2014

    Results

    In fiscal year 2013 (FY13), the World Bank Group’s financial commitment to SSA, a major priority for the institution, was US$15.4 billion and included:

    • $8.2 billion in the International Development Association (IDA) credits, grants, and guarantees, up from $7 billion from the previous year.
    • $5.3 billion from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) for private sector development projects.
    • $42 million in the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) lending.
    • $1.5 billion in the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) guarantees for projects.

    The Bank Group’s support focused on major transformational projects in agriculture and power, and also on social safety nets, conditional cash transfers for poor families, job creation programs for young people, and higher education.

    The Niger’s Kandadji Program to Boost Regional Economic Growth, Agriculture, and Electricity in the Sahel approved by the Bank in October 2012 will promotes greater synergy among the agriculture, environment, energy , and water sectors in the Niger River Basin. It will benefit some of the poorest countries in the world and help to increase food production, generate more electricity, create jobs, and develop economic opportunities for communities in the Niger Basin.

    The Bank also increased its focus in Africa on regional drivers of fragility and conflict, especially regarding the Sahel and the Great Lakes regions. In May 2013, the World Bank Group announced a $1 billion development pledge to help countries in the Great Lakes region provide better health and education services, generate more cross border trade, and fund hydroelectricity projects in support of the Great Lakes peace agreement. 

    Signaling a renewed focus on boosting economic growth and lifting people out of devastating poverty in Africa’s hard-hit Sahel region, the World Bank Group pledged $1.5 billion to the Sahel in November 2013, which is additional to its ongoing development multi-country and national programs in the region already worth several billion dollars. The funding will create more hydropower and other sources of clean energy to greatly expand irrigation and transform agriculture; protect and expand pastoralism for more than 80 million people living in the Sahel who rely on it as a major source of food and livelihoods; expand health services for women and girls; and improve regional communications and connectivity between countries.

    Africa’s future depends on adapting existing and future technology more rapidly. Large productivity gains are possible through better training of Africans in science and technology, and enhanced agricultural technology. During FY13, the Bank helped to bring higher education, with an emphasis on science, back into the development agenda. African economies urgently need highly skilled technicians and engineers, especially for energy and infrastructure.

    In March 2014, at a high level Forum on Higher Education for Science, Technology and Innovation, the Bank, along with the Government of Rwanda and several other African Governments highlighted Africa’s urgent need for larger numbers of scientists, engineers, and technicians who can meet the growing market demand for such expertise and contribute to development and shared prosperity in their countries. The Africa Region is currently preparing for submission to its Board of Directors, a $150 million project for the establishment of the Africa Centers of Excellence with the first phase to focus on West and Central Africa.

    Last Updated: Mar 27, 2014

    Partners

    The World Bank’s strategy for Africa is being implemented by leveraging partnerships, knowledge and Bank’s Group financing instruments. The Africa region has strategic bilateral partnerships with African countries. The Bank is working with key regional and sub-regional organizations and financial institutions, including the African Union, the African Development Bank, and NEPAD, and has developed strong partnerships with the private sector, think thanks, parliamentarians and African civil society.

    The Bank also collaborates with a wider range of partners at the national, regional, and global levels, stepping back where others have comparative advantage and leading where the Bank is well place to do so. Mobilizing partners to deepen and accelerate support for Africa is a top priority and requires closer partnerships with nonconventional development actors, including Brazil, China and India, as well as global funds, Arab funds, and private foundations.

    Last Updated: Mar 27, 2014

90%

the percentage of women participating in Tanzania’s labor force

Source »

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