Addis Ababa, 13 May 2018 (ECA) - The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched a new generation of reports focusing on African countries’ progress on structural transformation today, on the occasion of of the 51st ECA Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
Building on the ECA Country Profiles, the ‘Structural transformation (ST) with a focus on Employment (E),Production (P) and Society (S) (STEPS)’ reports will disseminate country and regional data and policy analayses on structural transformation with a view to promoting sustainable economic and social development in member States. The reports will be a reference for African policy makers and other stakeholders with more focus on structural transformation on the continent at country level.
Speaking at the launch of the STEPS reports, whose first generation features five pilot countries namely; Benin, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Morocco and Zambia, ECA’s Deputy Executive Secretary, Ms. Giovanie Biha, said that this new concept and analysis revealed that the pace of structural transformation has been slow and moderate in countries like Morrocco and Ethiopia. “Structural transformation is a gradual and long term process and the indicators are tracked in a period of 20 to 25 years”, she said.
However, she noted that although countries like Benin, Cameroon and Zambia have experienced relative growth, the manufacturing sector has been on the decline. “This is despite the fact that strong growth in the manufacturing sector is needed if structural transformation is to succeed”, Biha said. She added that the STEPS reports are critical as they help to tell the narrative from the countries’ perspective.
Speaking at the same event, ECA’s director for Sub-Regional Office for Central Africa, Mr. Antonio Pedro, said that STEPS reports are diagnosis tools that provide us with a picture of what our countries have, and what development policies they should engage inorder to attain structural transformation.
Meanwhile, ECA’s Acting director for Sub-Regional Office for Eastern Africa, Mr. Andrew Mold, said that there have been a lot of debates about structural transformations but with no agreed defination.It was his considered view that in order to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), there was need to transform societies.
The main areas analyzed in the reports are labour productivity, decent work, and education and skills diversification, linkages, and technology; and demography, health,and poverty and inequality under the three focus areas of employment (E), production (P) and society (S).
The STEPS reports were produced through coordination involving ECA’s Sub-Regional Offices (SROs), African Centre for Statistics (ACS), Macroeconomic Policy Division (MPD), Regional Integration and Trade Division (RITD), Social Development Policy Division (SDPD), National Statistics institutes, UN system and other divisions.