Over the past decade and a half, Sub-Saharan Africa has experienced rapid economic growth at an average annual rate of 5.5%. But since 2008, the share of manufacturing in GDP across the continent has stagnated at around 10%. This calls into question as to whether African economies have undergone structural transformation – the reallocation of economic activity across broad sectors -- which is considered vital for sustained economic growth in the long-run.
Many African countries are striving to move up the global value chain in the footsteps of countries like China and (more recently) Bangladesh. We asked Paul Lister – Director of Legal Services and Company Secretary, Associated British Foods (ABF) – how ABF and its subsidiaries determine where it will source goods. He says that in the end, efficiency is key.
In 2006, Uganda launched the Youth Opportunities Program, which provides cash transfers to groups of young adults for self-employment in trades. It is part of the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund, a decentralized development program that is the centerpiece of the post-conflict recovery plan. We spoke with Timothy Lubanga of the Office of the Prime Minister in Uganda, about the mid-term results from an impact evaluation conducted in 2010. He reports that the program is working well, with beneficiaries — especially women — experiencing higher employment and incomes than the control group.