Economic Diversification in Africa: A review of selected countries



Date of publication
6 April 2011



The global financial and economic crisis has revealed Africa’s vulnerability to external economic shocks. Largely dependent on the export of commodities, many of the continent’s economies suffered setbacks in economic growth and in their efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

Economic diversification holds great potential to increase Africa’s resilience and would contribute to achieving and sustaining long term economic growth and development in the continent. Broadly-based economies, active in a wide range of sectors, and firmly integrated into their regions, are better able to generate robust growth and sustainable growth.

This study analyses the economies of selected African countries’ and their diversification profiles and strategies. The five case studies, of Angola, Benin, Kenya, South Africa, and Tunisia, provide a detailed view on the state of economic diversification in the continent. From these experiences, policy recommendations are drawn for African governments, regional institutions and the international community. 


The study is published jointly by the United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (UN-OSAA) and the NEPAD-OECD Africa Investment Initiative.


See also:

2011 Update of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

Policy Framework for Investment

OECD Principles for Private Sector Participation in Infrastructure

Private sector participation in the water and sanitation sector



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