New book offering unique perspectives on the growth traps and opportunities for six African economies, coedited by PEP Board member

May 2017

A new book, Africa’s Lions: Growth Traps and Opportunities for Six African Economies, coedited by PEP Board member, Haroon Bhorat, examines the economic growth experiences of six fast-growing or economically dominant African countries.

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A new book, Africa’s Lions: Growth Traps and Opportunities for Six African Economies – coedited by PEP Board member, Haroon Bhorat, alongside the Director of UNU-WIDER, Finn Tarp – examines the economic growth experiences of six fast-growing or economically dominant African countries.

As a group, the six countries – Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, and South Africa – profiled in Africa’s Lions will largely shape the continent’s future. With each chapter focusing on one country, and authored by some of Africa's leading economists, the book offers unique perspectives on the complex interactions between economic growth and employment outcomes.

The growth of the global working-age population up to 2030 will be driven primarily by Africa. As such, it is essential to understand the relationship between growth and employment within the context of each the 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.

Despite a growing body of research on African economies, a lack of empirical data focused on the relationship between economic growth and employment outcomes at the detailed country level has, in many cases, deprived policymakers of a robust evidence base for informed decision-making. By harnessing country-level household, firm, and national accounts data – together with existing analytical country research – the authors aim to bridge this gap.

 

Haroon Bhorat is Professor of Economics and Director of the Development Policy Research Unit at the University of Cape Town. He served as economic advisor to former South African Ministers of Finance, holds a prestigious National Research Chair, is a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and sits on a number of boards and advisory panels, including the PEP Board of Directors.

Finn Tarp is the Director of UNU-WIDER and Professor of Development Economics at the University of Copenhagen. He is a leading international expert on issues of development strategy and foreign aid, with an interest in poverty, income distribution and growth, micro- and macroeconomic policy and modeling, agricultural sector policy and planning, household and enterprise development, and economic adjustment and reform.

More information, including how to order Africa’s Lions: Growth Traps and Opportunities for Six African Economies can be found on the Brookings website.

Watch an extended interview with Haroon Bhorat and Finn Tarp at the Brookings Institution for the US launch of the book in November 2016.

Further reading: contributing working papers and related blogs.

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