The African Economic Outlook 2020 report prepared by the African Development Bank was praised at the 33rd African Union Summit in Addis Ababa for being an effective blueprint for addressing Africa’s human capacity gap.
The 2020 report, under the theme Developing Africa’s workforce of the future, was presented at a side event attended by civil society, policymakers, global and regional development organizations, the media and academia.
“The facts mentioned in the second part of this report are striking. It reminds us of the size of the investment that must be made in the development of human capital in Africa, an essential component for achieving productive transformation,” said Victor Harison, the African Union Commissioner for Economic Affairs.
The African Economic Outlook has become the blueprint for planning and for sound economic research about Africa said the Secretary-General of the African Development Bank Vincent Nmehielle.
“The question then is: why are we presenting the report at the African Union? This is where Africa’s socio-economic policy and political decisions are made. It is therefore important that heads of state know the key policy recommendations for the year,” he said.
Ephrem Lemango, the Ethiopian Commissioner for job creation, highlighted on the importance of expanding education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Lemango added that STEM in Ethiopia represents 70% of graduates and jobs need to be created for these graduates.
The Chief Economist at the African Export-Import Bank, Hippolyte Fofack said that the 2020 African Economic Outlook is timely because the skills to develop African economies are not yet developed. Fofack highlighted the importance of skills and youth entrepreneurship capacity to the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
“If the recommendations in the report are implemented, there is no stopping the continent,” said Caleb Meakins, social entrepreneur, a global campaigner against poverty.
The joint side event also saw the launch of another report by the African Union Commission ‘Africa’s Dynamics of Development 2019’, in collaboration with the OECD Development Centre.