State of Africa, 2017
According to African Economic Outlook (AEO), although front pages of print media and TV breaking news on Africa, continue to be about i) state capture and corruption; ii) endemic poverty and rising unemployment of despondent youth; iii) bad governance and election malpractices; iv) the rise of rebellions and the proliferation of small arms; and v) massive deaths resulting from terrorism and violent extremism; in 2017 Africa maintained steady advances in trade and regional integration. Today the continent’s trading partners are also more geographically diverse, and regional co-operation is building momentum because African states and continental institutions have adopted more open policies, invested in infrastructure and continued to pursue regional integration. These achievements ease business by reducing the costs and time required to move goods and services within countries and across borders; and increase the continent’s appeal as a partner in global trade. This outlook presents hope in what has been achieved, and fears in terms of the challenges that lie ahead.