African Economic Outlook report launched

Oct 25, 2016

Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Lands & Regional Goverments and UN Resident Representative (Photo Credit: Cecilia Senghore/UNDP)

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Tuesday, 25th October, launched the African Economic Outlook Report for 2016 on the theme :Sustainable Cities and Structural Transformation.
The launching was presided over by the Permanent Sectary at the Ministry of Lands and Regional Government, Mr. Bulli Dibba and was held at the UN Library at Cape Point.

In her official opening statement the UNDP Resident Representative Ms. Ade Mamonyane Lekoetje, said the African Outlook Report including statistics and 54 individual country notes, is produced annually by the African Development Bank, the OECD Development Centre and the United Nation Development Programme, UNDP.

She explained that the report was first jointly launched during the AFDB annual meetings held in Lusaka on the 23rd May, 2016 and it addressed harnessing the full potential of Africa’s rapid urbanization.
Ms. Lekoetje went on to say that foreign direct investment is forecasted to reach USD 73.5 billion in 2015 under pinned by increasing Greenfield Investment from China- which remains Africa’s largest trade partner after the European Union.

Ms. Lekoetje added that the report also shows an increase in intra-African trade and outward FDI flows, while South African companies are the leading investors on the continent.
She noted that the report revealed that African countries have made significant progress with gains in education, health and living standards.

Mr.Dibba stressed that the report is a yearly report which contains national notes with projections and examination on macroeconomic exchange, social and human advancement patterns and insights for each of the 54 African nations.

“With its extraordinary theme on sustainable cities and structural transformation, the 2016 version of the African Economic Outlook examines the assorted qualities and particular elements of the mainland’s urbanization process, how it is significantly changing it offers for auxiliary changes and feasible development for now and for posterity,” he said.

He noted that the urban growth experienced in The Gambia is currently accompanied by slow structural transformation, mainly due to lack of proper urban planning which leads to costly urban sprawl and uncontrolled development.

According to Mr. Dibba, The Gambia does not have an urban policy; as a result the Ministry intends to bring the process of formulating and adopting one.
“The rapid urbanization experienced in The Gambia is driven by the pursuit of employment and a better life, which are often lacking in rural areas,” said Dibba.

He mentioned that achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals towards the eradication of poverty and hunger, will depend partly on how well Gambia is able to manage its urban areas.
 He thanked the UNDP for their generosity in launching of this important report and assured them of their continue partnership.

“The human development level in Africa has increased since 2000, with 17 out of 52 countries reaching middle or high levels of development.”

The UNDP National Economist, Mr. Abdoulie Janneh, presented the key messages of the report, followed by fruitful open discussions from the stakeholders present.