The European Business Council for Africa

The European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) has published research into the political economy dynamics or regional organisations in Africa.

Given the wide array of actors engaged with the African Union (AU) on its many agendas, and oft-cited frustrations among policymakers and their international partners about progress and implementation gaps, ECDPM has been working to understand the Political Economy Dynamics of Regional Organisations (PEDRO).

This research is focused on better understanding, and promoting discussion of, the interests and incentives of the range of different actors who seek to cooperate and integrate around regional agendas and ambitions, including international partners. That means exploring the interaction of a range of actors and factors that shape domestic politics, and how they interact with regional, continental, and international relations.

The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) has published a report covering Russia's increasing influence in Africa and how it intends to pursue its interests.

The Russia–Africa Summit heralded Russia’s new strategy for the continent. Despite the pandemic, Russia has established a number of institutions that should take the implementation of its strategy forward.

The World Economic Forum's (WEF) Regional Group for Africa has published a White Paper on attracting investment to to the continent and how to accelerate the adoption of the fourth industrial revolution.

Historically, Africa has lagged behind other regions in employing the full potential of previous industrial revolutions, limiting its ability to become a truly competitive market. The pandemic demonstrated the massive leaps made by business, government and civil society during the crisis – showing that sustaining this level of focus and momentum can boost economic growth.

The African Union Fourth Industrial Revolution strategy provides the foundation to ensure the region is able to embrace the opportunities and address the challenges, including inadequate infrastructure and skills. This paper builds on that work, providing direction for policy-makers and investors to consider the mechanisms that can scale up digital transformation. It offers five pathways identified by the World Economic Forum Regional Action group for Africa to drive economic recovery and build resilience, and assesses the role incentives can play in motivating organizations to adopt Fourth Industrial Revolution applications.

Brookings has published a 2022 Foresight for Africa covering a variety of different factors; Africa's economic recovery, public health, African women and girls, climate change, technological innovations and Africa's external relations.

With this and every iteration of Foresight Africa, they aim to capture the top priorities for the region in the coming year, offering recommendations for African and global stakeholders for creating and supporting a strong, sustainable, and successful Africa. In doing so, they hope that Foresight Africa 2022 will promote a dialogue on the key issues influencing development policy and practice in Africa during the upcoming year. Such ideas will ultimately provide sound strategies for sustaining and expanding the benefits of economic growth to all people of Africa in the years ahead.

The World Bank publishes a working paper that covers employment challenges faced by the rapidly urbanising continent of Africa, internal migration and problems faced by these populations.

In our rapidly urbanizing world, mayors often see migrants as a burden to their city’s labor market and a threat to its development. Drawing on national household surveys and four secondary city case studies in Africa, this study finds that migrants, being younger, better educated and/or complementary to the resident labor force, usually strengthen the urban labor force. In secondary cities, labor market outcomes for migrants are at least as good as those for residents. Migrants also contribute increasingly less to urban population growth. Secondary cities thus appear well placed to leverage migration. This requires good urban management that develops land and labor markets, prepares for growth and benefits everyone, migrants as well as residents. Migrant specific interventions are warranted when divisions between natives and migrants are deep. Strengthening the financial, technical, and planning capacity of towns to better integrate migrants is part and parcel of the good job’s agenda.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has published its monitoring report on investment trends showing, amongst other developments, a rise in inflows in Africa.

New UNCTAD estimates show that infrastructure finance is up due to recovery stimulus packages, but greenfield investment activity remains weak across industrial sectors.

Global foreign direct investment (FDI) flows showed a strong rebound in 2021, up 77% to an estimated $1.65 trillion, from $929 billion in 2020, surpassing their pre-COVID-19 level, according to UNCTAD’s Investment Trends Monitor published on 19 January.

“Recovery of investment flows to developing countries is encouraging, but stagnation of new investment in least developed countries in industries important for productive capacities, and key Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) sectors – such as electricity, food or health – is a major cause for concern,” said UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan.

A new WTO publication launched on 19 January highlights that further support will be needed from the international community in the next decade to strengthen least-developed countries’ (LDC) participation in world trade. While LDCs have benefited over the past ten years from greater market access opportunities, flexibilities in implementing WTO rules and trade-related technical assistance, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to even greater challenges for these countries, hitting their exports hard.

“Boosting trade opportunities for least-developed countries” reviews the progress made over the past decade to help LDCs further integrate into the global trading system. The volatility of commodity prices over the past ten years and the onset of the COVID-19 crisis caused LDCs' share of global exports to shrink to 0.91 per cent in 2020, compared with 0.95 per cent in 2011. The global goal of the United Nations aimed at doubling the LDC export share by 2020 is yet to be met.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has published its report on the global risks that will be faced in 2022. Regarding Africa specifically, it covers, among other things, economic divergence, COVID-19 response, economic recovery and digitisation.

The Global Risks Report series tracks global risks perceptions among risk experts and world leaders in business, government, and civil society. It examines risks across five categories: economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal, and technological. Every year the report also analyses key risks to explore further in deep-dive chapters—these could be risks that feature prominently on our survey, those for which warning signs are beginning to surface, or potential blind spots in risk perceptions.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has published a report analysing the renewable energy market in Africa and its regions.

An energy system centred on renewable energy can help resolve many of Africa’s social, economic, health and environmental challenges. A profound energy transition is not only feasible, it is essential for a climate-safe future in which sustainable development prerogatives are met. Renewables are key to overcoming energy poverty, providing needed energy services without damaging human health or ecosystems, and enabling a transformation of economies in support of development and industrialisation.

Africa is extraordinarily diverse, and no single approach will advance its energy future. But efforts must be made to build modern, resilient and sustainable energy systems across the continent to avoid trapping economies and societies in increasingly obsolete energy systems that burden them with stranded assets and limited economic prospects.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has published its winter edition of the magazine Finance & Development with a focus on the economics of health and well-being.

Just as good health—mental and physical—is fundamental to individual well-being, public health is fundamental to stable, cohesive societies. That is the lesson we must take from the COVID-19 pandemic

The inextricable link between human and economic health is another lesson. The pandemic plunged the world into the deepest economic contraction in generations, slowing progress on education, poverty eradication, and inclusive development. Overcoming the pandemic is a prerequisite to restoring jobs, livelihoods, and economic growth, say the IMF’s Gita Gopinath and Ruchir Agarwal. This makes it critical for global economic and financial stability, and therefore of fundamental importance to the IMF.

That is why we focus this issue of F&D on global health and well-being. Our authors explore future global health threats and countries’ vulnerabilities to them. They examine gaps in health care capacities within nations and the global health security system. And they consider the role of prudent public policy and responsible politics in health care.