Foresight Africa: Top Priorities for the Continent in 2018
In Chapter 1, African leaders describe initiatives to help the continent harness its potential to secure its future. African institutions—particularly the African Union, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Development Bank, and regional economic communities—are already unveiling strategies to tackle the continent’s challenges more effectively. Indeed, 2018 is the year in which Africa can unleash its inner strengths. Realizing a future of African self-reliance will require concerted support for sustainable development financing. In Chapter 2, our authors describe, and argue for, new and innovative instruments to better mobilize and leverage resources for development financing. Striving for shared prosperity while tackling stubborn human development challenges is another priority. Despite robust aggregate economic growth across the region in recent years, extreme poverty persists, and far too many citizens face a bleak future. In Chapter 3, our authors explore this disconnect and offer recommendations on policy interventions to broaden the benefits of future economic growth. Indeed, a notable feature of growth in Africa is that it is not fundamentally transforming economies. The authors in Chapter 4 examine the continent’s unique growth patterns and consider new pathways towards structural economic transformation. Challenges such as the threat of automation, the failure to scale up sustainable financing, and faltering progress toward halting women’s continued disempowerment suggest a rethinking of traditional growth and development approaches. In Chapter 5, our authors explore these innovations and their potential to transform the continent. In Chapter 6, authors consider what the region’s harnessed power means for Africa’s engagement on the global stage. Is Africa creating opportunities and taking initiative for more balanced and mutually beneficial relationships, especially with powerhouses like China, the European Union, the United States, as well as with multilateral organizations and powerful constituency groupings, such as the G-20? What will the impact of reduced engagement from the United States be? How do development, defense, and diplomacy best fit into foreign policies toward the continent? With this edition of Foresight Africa, we aim to capture the top priorities for the region in 2018, offering recommendations for African and international stakeholders to create and support a strong, sustainable, and prosperous continent. In so doing, we hope to promote and inform a dialogue on economic development that will generate sound strategies for sustaining economic growth and broadening its benefits in the years ahead.