The African Economic Outlook project aims to provide valuable information on economic and social development progress in Africa, as well as on short-term prospects (up to 2002 for the 2001 report). It combines the knowledge and expertise accumulated by the OECD, which produces the " OECD Economic Outlook " twice a year, and the knowledge and expertise of the African Development Bank on African economies.
The target audience is decision makers in African and OECD countries, both in the public and private sectors, such as aid agencies, investors, and government official of aid recipients countries.
The Report is based on a country-by-country analysis, and contains for every country a 14-page note presented according to a common analytical framework. This common framework includes a forecasting exercise for the next two years, based on a simple macroeconomic model, together with an analysis of the social and political context. It also contains a comparative synthesis of African country prospects, placing the evolution of African economies in the world economic context, as well as a statistical appendix.
The Report consists of three parts:
Part one aims to provide information on Africa as a whole, its situation in the world in terms of economic performance and social achievements and the plausible factors behind the constant weakening of its contribution to the world output.
Symmetrically, this part discusses specific developments that may impact on African economies, such as world demand, prices of primary products, interest rates and the exchange rates of major currencies, world financial market situation. Particular emphasis is given to the consequences of the events that took place in September 2001 in the United States.
Part one also gives an overview of African economic outlooks, providing a synthesis of the findings reported in Part Two of the report. It points to particularly important policy issues and problems to be looked into and resolved, both by donors and aid recipients, such as progress achieved with regard to increasing the flow of concessional resources and/or to enhancing debt relief under the "HIPC" initiative.
Furthermore, it discusses the initiatives, such as the NEPAD (New Partnership for African Development), the regional integration agreements and the decisions taken to improve governance, taken in Africa to remedy the current sluggish trends. Finally, it tackles one particular aspect that is becoming an increasingly serious threat to Africa's well being: HIV/AIDS.
This part is the core of the report. It provides a unique instrument for decision makers inside and outside Africa on recent and possible future developments in selected African countries.
The notes are all written following a similar structure, which allows the reader to make comparisons across countries. After an executive summary that highlights the main features of the country, the first section draws on the recent economic developments. The recent pattern of growth is displayed and related to the performance of the main economic sectors. The trends in public finances are then reviewed in relation with the fiscal and the monetary policies undertaken by the government. Trade performance and the evolution of debt burden are then considered as well as initiatives that could help foster the first and curb the second. The note takes next a more structural perspective by focusing on the reforms adopted in terms of privatization, infrastructure and financial market. It is completed by a review of institutional aspects as well as of recent trends in poverty and social indicators.
Not all-African countries are covered in the 2001 report. The first Report starts with 22 countries:
For obvious reasons, countries at war were not included. The selected countries were chosen as to obtain a balanced sample between the sub-regions of Africa (as defined in the African Development Report of the ADB). They are representative of the continent since they account for 2/3 of the African GDP and 3/4 of the population. After experience is gained in producing the report, the coverage of the report could be expanded subject to the availability of resources.
The statistical appendix provides a select list of time series for individual African economies. These time series includes: