Africa is facing a mixed outlook for growth. The economic growth forecast for the continent over the coming year is expected to be lower than the 5% average of the past decade. This is largely due to the dip in commodity prices and the economic slowdown in China. That said, a number of countries are growing above 6% per annum and foreign direct investment inflows continue to rise. Overall, the divergence of Africa’s economies makes it imperative to address the challenges posed by a growing unemployed youth population and climate change, among others.
The impact of the headwinds for commodity-dependent countries has refocused attention on the urgency of economic diversification, revitalization of manufacturing and harnessing of human innovation in order to weather the economic storm. The Fourth Industrial Revolution offers new opportunities to achieve inclusive and sustainable growth by fast-tracking market integration in Africa through industrial corridors.
Events in Africa and across the world have demonstrated a need for leaders to be responsive to the demands of the people who have entrusted them to lead, and to also provide a vision and a way forward. In partnership with the Government of the Republic of South Africa, the World Economic Forum on Africa will be held in Durban, South Africa, on 3-5 May 2017. The meeting will convene regional and global leaders from business, government and civil society to agree priorities that will help Africa achieve inclusive growth.