The Africa Competitiveness Report 2017: addressing Africa’s demographic dividend

The ability of Sub-Saharan Africa’s economies to generate enough jobs for its young and growing population rests on the successful implementation of urgent reforms to boost productivity. This is the key finding of the Africa Competitiveness Report 2017. Competitiveness is defined as the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity – and hence future prosperity – of a country. The biennial report comes at a time when growth in most of the region’s economies has been slowing despite a decade of sustained growth, and is likely to stagnate further in the absence of improvements in the core conditions for competitiveness. Compounding the challenge to Africa’s leaders is a rapidly expanding population, which is set to add 450 million more to the labour force over the next two decades. Under current policies, only 100 million jobs look set to be created during this period. Africa’s young, dynamic population does, however, possess the potential to lead an economic revival in the region, backed by targeted long- and short-term reforms in key areas, the report finds.

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