The African Economic Outlook (AEO) has celebrated its 16th edition this year. The 2017 edition showed how including high-potential entrepreneurs in industrial policies can help African countries meet their emerging market goals and sustain them after 2030. The publication covered all 54 African nations, with individual country notes and corresponding statistical annexes.
The African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the African Development Bank’s “High Five” priorities identify industrialisation as essential for achieving Africa’s vision for emergence, particularly for sustainable development, employment and fight against poverty. Past industrialisation strategies in Africa often failed because they have neglected the private sector, particularly high-potential entrepreneurs. Africa has the world’s highest share of new entrepreneurs, but most are trapped in non-tradable services. New industrialisation strategies can harness this untapped potential.
The African Economic Outlook 2017 proposed concrete steps to lift constraints met by Africa’s high-potential entrepreneurs:
- Carry out new industrialisation strategies that tap the potential of all economic sectors, avoid past mistakes, and promote high-potential private companies;
- Improve skills development to make African firms more competitive and innovative;
- Ensure economic clusters provide sufficient public goods to generate economies of scale, attract a skilled workforce, and generate economic linkages with different sectors and regions;
- Diversify the financial instruments available at different stages of start-up growth.
A special attention has been given to Italian and European companies that can play a key role in African growth, while harnessing promising development opportunities. The event showcased those opportunities for participating in industrial clusters, fostering financial ecosystems, supporting local professional skills development, and co-operating with high-growth African companies.
The event, organized by E4Impact Foundation, Assolombarda and Confindustria, under the patronage of OECD and MAECI, took place on the 22th June 2017 at 9.30 am in Assolombarda Auditorium, Milan (Italy) and saw almost 400 participants. It focused on the presentation of the African Economic Outlook 2017 “Improving entrepreneurship for industrialisation in Africa” with the contribution of Italian and European companies to Entrepreneurship in Africa. During the event, E4Impact, Simest and Confindustria singed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote the presence of italian companies in Africa.
Photo Credits: Roberto Valenti