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Macroeconomic prospects

This chapter examines the recent macroeconomic developments in Africa and provides a forecast for 2014 and 2015. It is based on detailed country analyses and projections as described in Part three of this report. The chapter looks at the supply and demand conditions affecting Africa’s growth. It also describes the development of commodity prices and inflationary pressures in African countries and discusses monetary and fiscal policy stances, external positions, forecasting risks and policy challenges.

External financial flows and tax revenues for Africa

This chapter analyses recent trends in development financial flows from African countries’ perspectives. It compares foreign direct investments, portfolio investments, remittances and official development assistance with the trends in tax revenues. It also describes the relative importance of each of these flows for various country income groupings. While different in nature, these flows constitute the main sources available for African countries to meet their financing needs. Using data starting from 2000, the chapter provides estimates for 2013 and projections for 2014.

Trade policies and regional integration in Africa

This chapter reviews the recent progress of integration in various African regions. It looks at how trade is shaping African integration, obstacles to free movement of people and goods, and the importance of boosting Africa’s services sector to achieve a foothold in global value chains.

Human development in Africa

This chapter recognises progress in human development in Africa, notably reducing poverty and improving education and health outcomes, and the role trade plays. It highlights the impacts of exclusion, gender inequality and unsustainable development. It also discusses the need to exploit the opportunities that value chains offer and to mitigate the risks they bring, using technology and innovation; doing so can help achieve greater human rights, sustainable economic development and social progress for all –goals of the post-2015 agenda. The chapter illustrates good practices and lessons learned in advancing equitable and sustainable human development.

Political and economic governance in Africa

Democratic governance in Africa has improved overall since 2000. Helped by robust international responses, a deepening democratic experience may also be reducing the space for governments to engage in armed conflicts. In 2012 there were fewer than in 2000, and they were much less deadly. At the same time, public protests increased in recent years, centred on demands for jobs, better wages and government accountability. Government response has been limited and in some places repressive. In economic governance, initiatives to fight illicit capital flows and to increase transparency in extractives are encouraging, and the business environment is improving.

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