The IMF Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa, launched in Tokyo on October 12, 2012, highlights that economic conditions in the region have remained generally robust against the backdrop of a sluggish global economy. The near-term outlook for the region is also broadly positive: growth is projected at 5¼ percent a year through 2012–13. However, there is considerable diversity within the region, with low income countries and oil producers currently faring better than middle income countries closely linked to European markets. Moreover, sub-Saharan Africa still faces substantial downside risks from the uncertain global economic environment. Looking at longer-term trends, the Regional Economic Outlook notes that most countries in the region have experienced some degree of structural transformation over the last 15 years, albeit at different speeds and following different paths, with workers shifting from lower to higher average productivity activities and sectors. Depending on resource endowments and other factors, some sub-Saharan African countries may follow the Asian structural transformation path through low-wage manufacturing. But others may transform through services or agriculture.
In partnership with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Wilson Center’s Africa Program and the Program on America and the Global Economy present “Sub-Saharan Africa: Maintaining Growth in an Uncertain World - IMF Regional Economic Outlook, Fall 2012” on Tuesday, November 13th from 10:30am to 12:00pm in the 6th floor Flom Auditorium. The event will feature an initial presentation from Antoinette Sayeh, Director, African Department, IMF, on “Maintaining Growth in an Uncertain World” and a response from Kent Hughes, Director of the Program on America and the Global Economy. Sean Nolan, Deputy Director, African Department, IMF, will then present “Structural Transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa” with a response from Amy E. Holman, Director, Office of Economic Policy Staff, Department of State. Steve McDonald, Director of the Africa Program and the Project on Leadership and Building State Capacity at the Wilson Center, will moderate the discussion.