Understanding the African lions – growth traps and opportunities in six dominant African economies

This project aims to define some of the key constraints facing African economies as they attempt to maintain a long-run economic growth and development trajectory. The work will provide the analytical basis for policy recommendations and value-added guidance to domestic policymakers in the fast-growing economies of Africa, as well as for the broader global community interested in the development of the region.

The project will also offer a set of common lessons, from which the next generation of high-growth African economies could potentially learn. Despite a general view that Sub-Saharan Africa is the last great untapped market, ripe for rapid growth and development, there is very little research on the relationship between economic growth and employment outcomes at the country level. Hence, the extent to which this notion of a mass consumer market on the continent needs to be realized ex ante through the creation of a significant number of jobs – is arguably absent in the current research agenda on Africa.

A better understanding of the structure of each country’s workforce and the implications it has for human capital development, the vulnerably employed and the working poor is critical to informing the future development policy agenda, and is thus the focus of the individual country studies presented in this project.


Main subject

Theme: 2014-18, Transformation