Africa 2010 - International Labour Economic Report on Africa 2010 ... per cent in 2008 to 1.6 per cent

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    Due to the global financial crisis, the world economy contracted by 2.2 per cent in 2009, but there are signs that it has begun to stabilize. GDP growth in Africa declined from 4.5 per cent in 2008 to 1.6 per cent in 2009 and is expected to rise to 4.3 per cent in 2010. Despite the decrease in world commodity prices, primary commodity exports remain the major driver of growth in Africa.

    The global economic downturn exacerbated the already high unemployment rates and vulnerable employment in Africa. Unemployment rates remained high and increasing especially among vulnerable groups in Africa even during the last decade of relatively high growth, making it difficult for the continent to reduce poverty.

    Africa’s high and growing unemployment rates stem from both supply and demand sources, including rapidly growing labour supply owing to high population growth rates, increased labour participation and slow growth in labour demand as economic growth has been both insufficient and dependent on capital-intensive enclave sectors with low employment elasticity

    In the aftermath of the crisis, African countries should pursue policies that counter the effects of the recession and at the same time lay the foundation for long-term, high-level, sustainable and employment-focused growth. Besides a comprehensive development planning framework that embodies well-designed and implemented macroeconomic and sectoral strategies, this requires appropriate investment in infrastructure, human capital, improved domestic resource mobilization, factor market reforms, incentives to support private sector employment, and efforts to increase productivity.

    African UnionEconomic Commission for Africa

    African UnionEconomic Commission for Africa

    Economic Report on Africa 2010

    Promoting high-level sustainable growth to reduce unemployment in Africa

    United Nations Publication Printed in Nairobi, Kenya

    2010/01/00095 - March 2010 - 3,000

    List Price: USD $ 40.00 ISBN: 978-92-1-125113-5

  • Economic Commission for Africa

    African Union

    Economic Report on

    Africa 2010 Promoting high-level sustainable growth to reduce unemployment in Africa

  • Ordering information

    To order copies of Promoting high-level sustainable growth to reduce unemploy- ment in Africa by the Economic Commission for Africa, please contact:

    Publications Economic Commission for Africa P.O. Box 3001 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    Tel: +251 11 544-9900 Fax: +251 11 551-4416 E-mail: Web:

    © United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, 2010 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    All rights reserved First printing March 2010

    ISBN 978-92-1-125113-5 Sales Number: E.10.II.K.1

    Material in this publication may be freely quoted or reprinted. Acknowledgement is requested, together with a copy of the publication.

    Edited and designed by the ECA Publications and Conference Management Section (PCMS).

    Cover photos: From left, Stock.xchng/G & A Scholiers, Asif Akbar, UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

  • iiiTable of Contents

    Table of Contents

    Acronyms ix

    Acknowledgements xiii

    Foreword xv

    Overview 1

    1. Developments in the World Economy and Implications for Africa 21

    1.1 Recovery from the significant global economic contraction in 2009 will be slow 22

    1.2 Continued depreciation of the US Dollar overshadows the international foreign exchange markets 25

    1.3 Macroeconomic imbalances intensified in 2009 26

    1.4 World commodity prices rebound but remain below their peaks in mid-2008 32

    1.5 Significant drop in global inflation 36

    1.6 Global remittances fall but not uniformly 38

    1.7 The crisis threatens inflows of FDI and ODA 40

    1.8 Global job crisis and increased working poverty 44

    1.9 Conclusion 46

    References 48

    2. Economic and Social Conditions in Africa in 2009 and Prospects for 2010 51

    2.1 Economic Performance in Africa in 2009 52

    2.2 Recent trends in social development in Africa 64

    2.3 Outlook for 2010 and downside risks 71

    2. 4 Conclusions and policy recommendations 74

    References 76

  • iv Economic Report on Africa 2010 Promoting high-level sustainable growth to reduce unemployment in Africa

    3. Selected current and emerging development issues for Africa in 2009 79

    3.1 Developments in international trade in 2009 80

    3.2 Financing for development in the context of the global financial and economic crises 94

    3.3 Climate change in Africa: Copenhagen outcomes and implications 103

    3.4 Conclusions and policy recommendations 111

    References 115

    4. The critical drivers and enablers of high levels of sustainable growth 119

    4.1 Drivers of economic growth 121

    4.2 Drivers of Africa’s growth since 1990 126

    4.3. The impact of the crisis on drivers of recent economic growth in Africa 134

    4.4 Conditions for high and sustainable long-term growth in Africa 141

    4.5 Conclusion 152

    References 154

    5. Growth-employment-poverty reduction linkages: a framework for recovery and accelerated progress towards the Millennium Development Goals 157

    5.1 Trend and nature of unemployment in Africa 158

    5.2 Explaining jobless growth experiences in Africa 164

    5.3 Paid employment and decent work in Africa 170

    5.4 Impact of the financial and economic crises on employment 173

    5.5 Strategies for reducing unemployment and enhancing progress towards the MDGs within a new growth framework 176

    References 186

    Annex 189

  • vTable of Contents

    6. Selected country experiences from Africa 191

    6.1 Ghana: growth performance impacted positively on employment and poverty 193

    6.2 Republic of Congo: Fragile growth and high unemployment 197

    6.3 Rwanda: Rapid growth performance but unemployment and poverty still major concerns 201

    6.4 Tunisia: Impressive growth and employment performance but declining employment-intensity of growth 204

    6.5 Conclusions and policy recommendations 209

    References 216


    1.1 China’s rising economic prominence 42

    2.1 The crisis seriously affected sectoral performance and employment 56

    3.1 Consultations and preparations for Copenhagen by African negotiators 110

    4.1 The pursuit of good governance embedded in a national development plan: the case of Ghana 134

    5.1 Perceptions of unemployment in sub-Saharan Africa 163

    5.2 Declarations on a Global Jobs Pact and a Decent Work Agenda 171

    5.3 Generating employment through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) in South Africa 179


    1.1 GDP growth rates of major regions, 2003-2010 23

    1.2 Trends in international foreign exchange markets 26

    1.3 Annual average growth rates of exports by regions (%) 27

    1.4 Current account balances for selected regions and countries, 2004-2010 (% of GDP) 28

    1.5 Central government fiscal balances for selected regions and economies, 2000-2010 (% of GDP) 31

    1.6 Indices of primary commodity prices, 2007-2009 (2005=100, $US) 35

    1.7 Inflation rates in major regions and economies, 2001-2010 38

    1.8 Remittance inflows by major beneficiary regions, 2001-2008 ($US billions) 39

    1.9 FDI inflows by region and for selected economies ($US billion), 2007-2010. 43

  • vi Economic Report on Africa 2010 Promoting high-level sustainable growth to reduce unemployment in Africa

    1.10 Official development assistance (current $US million) 2002-2008 44

    2.1 Growth in Africa, oil-exporting vs. oil-importing economies, 2007-2009 53

    2.2 Regional growth performance 2007-2009, in percentage 54

    2.3 Current account balance in Africa by category, 2007-2009 (% GDP) 63

    2.4 GDP interval forecast, 2010 72

    3.1 Africa’s share in global merchandise trade (%) 81

    3.2 Year-on-year growth rates of Africa’s merchandise trade 82

    3.3 Africa’s performance in world trade in services* 84

    3.4 Allocation by broad categories of AfT commitments to Africa (%) 93

    3.5 Workers’ remittances flow to Africa, 2000-2009 ($billion) 97

    3.6 Projected and available funds ($US) 108

    4.1 Annual and five-year moving average of GDP growth (%) 119

    4.2 Exports of goods and services ($US millions) 129

    5.1 Youth unemployment in Africa 161

    5.2 Growth rate of the economically active population in Africa (%) 166

    6.1 Congo’s key economic indicators 198

    6.2 Trends in the employment elasticity of growth in Tunisia 207

    6.3 Growth in employment and value added of trading activities, excluding agriculture and fisheries (%) 208


    1.1 Foreign reserves in selected regions and countries, total and months of imports, 2002-2010 30

    1.2 Indices of selected primary commodity prices, 2003-2010 (2000=100) 36

    1.3 Global employment crises and working poverty 45

    2.1 Distribution of growth performance in Africa, 2007-2009 52

    3.1 Total net ODA flows to Africa, 2000-08 (billions of current $US) 99

    3.2 Heavily indebted poor African countries with committed debt relief as of end July 2009 (