The Brookings Institution has recently revealed top six priorities for Africa in 2017, which it says should provide opportunities for the continent to overcome its obstacles to drive fruitful and inclusive growth.
The ‘Foresight Africa 2017’, as the document is called, comprehensively outlines what the Washington-based think-tank describes as interconnected, cross-cutting themes that demonstrate the prospects for Africa’s success for its policymakers, businessmen and women, and all its citizens.
1 Mobilising financial resources
Sub-Saharan Africa – especially its oil-exporting economies – has seen many credit downgrades and lowered growth outlooks in 2016, raising the importance of financing for development even higher.
2 Increasing Employment Opportunities
Growth will not be possible in Africa without jobs. Given the looming population boom, Africa must adapt not only through job creation, but also through skills development and support in both forgotten and frontier sectors.
3 Boosting transformational technology
Essential to any modern economy is technology. In many ways, especially when it comes to financial inclusion, Africa is on the forefront. In addition, innovations are creating opportunities unheard of in other parts of the world – though accessibility to many advancements remains somewhat limited.
4 Bolstering urbanisation efforts
This is the second year in a row that the Brookings Institution is analysing the continent’s increasingly important topic of urbanisation. In the follow up from Habitat III and the New Urban Agenda, policymakers agree that smart urban planning is a requirement for successful development. This type of planning is challenging, though, as it requires an awareness of energy needs, transportation possibilities, pollution potential, safety, informal settlements, and affordability, among many other aspects.
5 Confronting climate change
In no other area of global governance has African shown a united front than in the fight against climate change. Africa is expected to bear the brunt of the destructive effects, and the region’s high poverty rate means that the poor will suffer the most. In this chapter, our authors offer thoughts to both the national and international communities on policies for combating climate change in light of Africa’s unique circumstances.
6 Upholding good governance
To tie everything together, of course, are the policymakers, who have the power to create incentives for job creation, enact laws to combat climate change, create appropriate regulatory environments for innovation, and stabilise the macroeconomic environment. Without good governance and respect for the rule of law, countries and their citizens must fight an even-more uphill battle towards inclusive growth, the Brookings Institution said.
The Brookings Institution is a non-profit public policy organisation based whose mission is to conduct in-depth research that leads to new ideas for solving problems facing society at the local, national and global level.
(Foresight 2017, final editing by Issa Sikiti)