Africa's Lions

Growth Traps and Opportunities for Six African Economies

Examining the economic forces that will shape Africa’s future

Africa’s Lions examines the economic growth experiences of six fast-growing and/or economically dominant African countries. Expert African researchers offer unique perspectives into the challenges and issues in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, and South Africa.

Despite a growing body of research on African economies, very little research has focused on the relationship between economic growth and employment outcomes at the detailed country level. A lack of empirical data has, in many cases, deprived policymakers of a robust evidence base on which to make informed decisions. By harnessing country-level household, firm, and national accounts data—together with existing analytical country research—the authors have attempted to bridge this gap.

The growth of the global working-age population to 2030 will be driven primarily by Africa, which means that the relationship between growth and employment should be understood within the context of each countries’ projected demographic challenge and the associated implications for employment growth. Furthermore, a better understanding of the structure of each country’s workforce and the resulting implications for human capital development, the vulnerably employed, and the working poor, will be critical to informing the development policy agenda.

As a group, the six countries profiled in Africa’s Lions will largely shape the continent’s future. Each country chapter focuses on the complex interactions between economic growth and employment outcomes, within the individual Africa’s Lions context.

Table of contents
  1. 1. The pursuit of long-run economic growth in Africa: an overview of key challenges
    Haroon Bhorat, Finn Tarp
  2. 2. Ethiopia: An agrarian economy in transition
    Yared Seid, Alemayehu Seyoum Taffesse, Seid Nuru Ali
    More Working Paper | Ethiopia – an agrarian economy in transition
  3. 3. Ghana: A successful growth story with job creation concerns
    Ernest Aryeetey, William Baah-Boateng
    More Working Paper | Understanding Ghana’s growth success story and job creation challenges
  4. 4. Kenya: Economic growth, labor market dynamics, and prospects for a demographic dividend
    Mwangi S. Kimenyi, Francis M. Mwega, Njuguna Ndung'u
    More Working Paper | The African Lions
  5. 5. Mozambique: Growth experience through an employment lens
    Sam Jones, Finn Tarp
    More Working Paper | Understanding Mozambique’s growth experience through an employment lens
  6. 6. Nigeria: The relationship between growth and employment
    Olu Ajakaiye, Afeikhena T. Jerome, David Nabena, Olufunke A. Alaba
    More Working Paper | Understanding the relationship between growth and employment in Nigeria
  7. 7. South Africa: Demographic, employment, and wage trends
    Haroon Bhorat, Karmen Naidoo, Morné Oosthuizen, Kavisha Pillay
    More Working Paper | Demographic, employment, and wage trends in South Africa
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