African Economic Outlook 2016 Pinpoints Nigeria’s ‘Weak Links’ 

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​The 2016 African Economic Outlook (AEO) was launched by the Nigeria Country Office of the African Development Bank at an outreach event held at the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria with the theme: Sustainable Cities and Structural Transformation. 

The report looks closely at Africa’s distinctive pathways towards urbanisation, and how this is increasingly shifting economic resources to more productive activities.

The publication covers all 54 African nations, with individual country notes and corresponding statistical annexes. Nigeria’s case formed the basis for exchange of views on the AEO, as well as deliberations on prospects for the Nigerian economy.

The combined report by the African Development Bank (AfDB), OECD and UNDP notes Nigeria’s rapid growth has led to increased unemployment and income inequality due to poor urban planning and weak links between structural transformation and urbanisation. 

According to the report, Nigeria has had a sluggish economic growth of 2.8% since the end of 2015. At the time of the report launch, Barungi reported that the economy had contracted further by 0.36% in the first quarter of 2016, while inflation continued to rise, standing at 16.5%.

Policy reforms by the new administration are highlighted, and they include strong fiscal policy, improvements in public sector transparency and accountability, as well as adoption of a more flexible exchange rate.

Nigeria has been rapidly urbanising, with fast-growing cities such as Lagos and Kano facing increasing unemployment and income inequality due to poor urban planning and weak links between structural transformation and urbanisation.

Other highlights from the AEO show that Africa’s economic performance had been steady and was expected to remain temperate in 2015 and strengthen in 2016 against the backdrop of a delicate global economy. The continent remained the second fastest-growing economic region after East Asia. 

The report also predicts the continent’s average growth at 3.7% in 2016, increasing to 4.5% in 2017, provided the world economy strengthens and commodity prices gradually recover.

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