ECA Press Release 204/2012
South Africa, 28 November 2012 (ECA) - About 25 experts from academia, industry, government and private sector today began a two-day meeting in Cape Town to review the Economic Commission for Africa's (ECA) much-awaited 2013 Economic Report on Africa (ERA) which examines how African countries can make the best of their commodities through value-addition for sustainable development.
Some of the experts here include Cape Town University Economic Professors, Michael Morris and David Kaplan; research Professors Olu Ajakaiye and Rosemary Atieno, as well as South African Parliamentarian and Economic Professor, Benjamin Turok.
Calling on the Experts to be thoroughly and brutally frank on their respective views on the report, ECA's Director of Economic Development and NEPAD Division (EDND), Emmanuel Nnadozie, said the 2013 ERA report would be a landmark report which would have a real impact on Africa's development agenda.
He said the report would contain practical recommendations on how Africa can transform its economies through value addition to its commodities. For this reason, he said, experts should interrogate the draft report and give recommendations beyond grand policy reforms.
"The question is; what value will ERA 2013 add to Africa's value addition agenda? We want a strong review, we want a report that has specifics and practical steps beyond general policy recommendations of infrastructure and energy development." said Nnadozie.
Meanwhile, one of the lead discussants, Wilson Atta Krofah said the report should pay particular attention to how Africa can diversify not only its economy, but its market which largely is still dependent on Europe. He said while Africa constitute a huge market, intra African trade remained negligible at 15%.
He further added that the report should give significant attention to industrialization and agriculture development as major opportunities for diversification.
Professor Turok, a leading authority in the value addition discourse, said the report should show correlation between growth and employment pointing out that since growth does not necessarily translate into employment creation, the report should clearly show the linkages.
"The report should problematize the relationship between growth and employment and clarify the counter-cyclical policies it is recommending...what are they? How do they work?," he said.
The ERA peer review process is aimed at critically analyzing and dissecting the relevance and depth of the report and it's recommendations. The review commenced with an internal peer review a week ago in Addis Ababa
A new marketing strategy to ensure that the report and its recommendations reach the relevant stakeholders and policy makers across the continent is underway.
ERA 2013 will be launched in March 2013.
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