Chapter 18: Economic transformation and green growth for African economies
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Economic transformation will be critical to continue the ‘African growth miracle’ and overcome the region’s development challenges. The diversity of African economies, distinctive regional trends and upheavals in global economic conditions means the pattern of economic transformation is likely to be different from those observed in today’s developed countries and there is unlikely to be a single ‘African model’ that all countries can emulate and follow. One such difference highlighted by African regional institutions and within national economic strategies relates to ensuring ‘green’ growth, whereby the natural environment can continue to provide the services on which the welfare of both present and future generations depends. This chapter argues that the conditions and routes for economic transformation in Africa present many opportunities for green – or at least greener – growth in agriculture, energy, cities and the emergence of modern sectors, be they in industry or services. To exploit these opportunities policymakers will be challenged by the scale and pace of change and the requirement to provide jobs, infrastructure and public services for a young and increasingly urbanized population. Progress can also be accelerated through enhanced institutional capacity, and by managing the political economy of change.

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