Despite the political and social unrest that affected some countries in North Africa, growth remains strong in the rest of Africa. Out of the top-fifteen fastest growing economies in the world today, ten are African. The continent’s contribution to world GDP is projected to increase from 2.4 per cent in 2012 to 5.1 per cent in 2034. A fast growing Africa could provide a new driver for consumer demand, a large market and a new engine of global growth. To harness both the productive potential and untapped consumer demand of the continent, Africa will need to enhance productivity and competitiveness through investing in infrastructure, technology, higher education and health, broadening the range of exports and making the necessary investments in productive sectors, enhancing development financing and promoting regional integration and South-South cooperation.
This roundtable discussion introduced the key findings of the Economic Report on Africa 2012 “Unleashing Africa’s Potential as a New Pole of Global Growth”. On this occasion, the discussion focused on the central challenges African countries must address for the continent to unleash its potential as a pole of global growth. Among other key goals, Africa needs to move towards a unified framework for negotiation and cooperation with emerging as well as old partners that will help African countries maximize gains in terms of trade, FDI, technology transfer, loans and aid, especially from China, Brazil, Korea and Turkey. Addressing this challenge will broaden the scope of integration, both in trade and investments, between Egypt and neighbors in Africa.