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The International Economic Forum on Africa is the leading Europe-based event devoted to the continent. Every year, OECD officials and African policy makers, private sector, academia and civil society leaders as well as high-level representatives from international organisations gather to weigh in on the continent’s major transformations and discuss how better policies can further impact the region. The 18th Africa Forum scrutinised the key topics of growth, employment, migration and development in the wake of Africa’s historical decision for closer integration. On 21 March 2018, forty-four (44) African countries signed the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement in Kigali, Rwanda. Once ratified, AfCFTA, which is part of the African Union Agenda 2063’s long-term vision, will create a single market encompassing 1.2 billion people and more than USD 2 trillion in combined GDP. Simultaneously, a protocol on the free movement of people was adopted by thirty (30) African countries. Since then, five (5) new African countries announced during the last AU Summit they have joined the AfCFTA; making it to forty-nine (49) signatories.
The Africa Forum’s debates benefited from the findings of the first ever Africa’s Development Dynamics report, jointly produced by the African Union Commission and the OECD Development Centre. The report identifies innovative policies and offers practical policy recommendations, adapted to the specificities of African economies, on how to foster inclusive growth and employment and on how to reduce inequalities. It proposes ten decisive actions to promote sustainable economic and social development and to strengthen institutions in Africa.