Economic Report on Africa 2007: Accelerating Africa’s Development through Diversification

In the 2007 edition of the Economic Report on Africa (ERA 2007), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa notes that African economies continued to sustain the growth momentum of previous years, recording an overall real GDP growth rate of 5.7% in 2006. ERA 2007 underscores serious concerns about the sustainability of the recent regional economic growth momentum in the medium run. It stresses that the lack of diversification of the production and export base exposes African economies to the vagaries of international markets, making growth highly volatile and increasing macroeconomic uncertainty. It therefore argues for a paradigm shift, making diversification the cornerstone of economic policy design as a means of both accelerating growth and sustaining high levels of growth. ERA is the key instrument through which African economic performance is tracked and assessed by the Commission. One of the main goals of the ERA is to identify policy challenges that countries face on the continent and to suggest practical solutions. Targeted at African and global policymakers, the ERA is meant to stimulate a process of discussion and change. This year the report is co-published with the African Union Commission (AUC) for the first time.