14 March 2019

Africa: AfDB Local Languages to Promote Regional Integration

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The African Development Bank has published highlights of its flagship publication African Economic Outlook (AEO) in local languages to ensure their reach to new stakeholders at the local and community levels.

The focus is on languages that are among the most widely spoken on the continent.

Successful report launch in Arabic, Hausa and Kiswahili

Following the successful launch of the highlights report in Arabic, Hausa and Kiswahili for the 2018 edition, the Bank announces the release of the 2019 African Economic Outlook highlights in four additional languages: Amharic, Pidgin English, Yoruba and Zulu.

The main objective of the AEO highlights in local African languages is to ensure accessibility to the information it contains, promoting inclusiveness, widespread coverage and relevance of the publication within stakeholder communities at the district and local levels.

The highlights report follows the launching of the main 2019 AEO report in January.

Focus on regional integration

The 2019 AEO report focuses on regional integration - one of the Bank's High 5 priority areas - and explores how it can spur economic prosperity in Africa.

To achieve this objective, the report highlights certain actions that need to be taken. These include: reducing tariffs and non-tariff barriers, increasing labour mobility, integrating financial markets; and enhancing cooperation for regional public goods.

Following the debut of regional economic outlook reports for the 5 African regions last year, regional AEOs have been completed for 2019.

Each report is a stand-alone document, zooming in on each region's macroeconomic and structural issues as well as its peculiar nature of regional integration.

Regional integration and fragility

In Central Africa, the focus is on regional integration and fragility.

In East and North Africa, the political economy of regional integration is considered. Southern Africa looks at regional integration and private sector development, while in West Africa, regional integration and structural transformation is the focus.

The Bank is confident that the rigour and depth of analysis contained in the AEO and regional reports is of great value to all stakeholders interested in African development issues.

The up-to-date data and reference materials they contain make them invaluable to a diverse and wide audience comprising academics, researchers, development partners, investors, civil society organizations and the media.

Feedback from across Africa indicates that the 2018 translations were very well received, as evidenced by the number distributed and positive feedback from Bank Executive Directors, staff and external stakeholders.

Top 7 economies in Africa

The economic growth trends show positive signals with the GDP growth rate projected at 4 per cent this year. It is also projected that it will rise to 4.1 per cent in 2019.

However, this does not give the full picture since 45 per cent of the countries will grow at above 5 per cent.

West Africa's regional economic outlook remains positive with Nigeria being named Africa's largest economy for the second year in a row.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) disclosed this last month citing its economic prowess in the continent.

These include Nigeria with a GDP of USD 1.121 trillion followed by Egypt, South Africa, Algeria, Ethiopia, Angola and Kenya with a GDP of USD 163.3 billion.

The World Bank has projected that South Africa's economic growth will accelerate only modestly to 1.3 per cent in 2019, held back by constraints on domestic demand and limited government spending.

In its "2019 Global Economic Prospects" report, the World Bank said growth in sub-Saharan Africa was expected to accelerate to 3.4 per cent, despite global expansion being expected to decline to 2.9 per cent as trade and investment weaken.

You can also read about the Golden opportunities at bridge connecting 8 African countries and the 3 obstacles to Africa's private sector development and why Africa will have better-negotiated trade deals.

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