ECA Report X-rays Africa’s Urbanization and Industrialization Challenges

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The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched this year’s Economic Report on Africa (ERA).

The 2017 edition of the ECA’s annual flagship publication is titled “Urbanization and Industrialization for Africa’s Transformation”.

The ERA is expected to help lawmakers in the continent to identify the areas that should be concentrated on to address inclusive economic growth.

“In particular addressing the gaps for example between urban and industrial growth, “Adam El Hiraika, Director, Macroeconomic Division, ECA said.

It is estimated that by 2035, 50 per cent of Africa’s population will live in urban areas raising the need for mechanisms to ensure sustainable growth through job creation and related projects.

El Hiraika added that the evidence-based data is necessary to understand the complexities of urbanization and its links to industrial development.

It presents 11 African countries as case studies and details practical findings on how they are managing rapid urbanization.

The countries include Ethiopia, Madagascar, Morocco, Nigeria, Congo Brazzaville, Rwanda, Sudan, Mozambique, Cote d’Ivore, South Africa and Cameroon.

The ERA will enable many African countries which face institutional constraints for coordinating urbanization and industrialization to assess policy options and trade-offs, to design good policy strategies and to measure impacts.

It urges African governments to coordinate investments in urban infrastructure particularly in electricity and transport, to support industrial enterprises and to meet the needs of urban populations.

The report examines how they can harness the opportunities arising from rapid urbanization to speed up industrialization and accelerate structural transformation.

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