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Remarkable performance with lingering challenges

Recent economic performance has not generated enough economic diversification, job growth or social development to create wealth and lift millions of Africans out of poverty, states the 2013 Economic Report on Africa.
The report, released on Thursday, indicated that Africa’s remarkable performance, although mostly commodity-driven, is also underpinned by a variety of factors such as strengthening domestic demand associated with rising incomes and urbanization, increasing public spending especially on infrastructure, increased harvest in some regions due to favorable weather, tightening trade and investment ties with emerging economies and post-conflict economic recovery in several countries.
The report also stated that the pattern of social development on the continent has been mixed over recent years and changes for the better are still recorded in most areas like education, child and maternal mortality rates and gender equality. On the other hand, the report also found that the pace of progress is still too slow for countries to achieve their social development goals, especially some of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the end of 2015.
Key challenges remain to be in the design and implementation of effective policies to promote industrialization and economic transformation. The report suggests that Africa has to pursue more effective policies to accelerate and sustain high growth and make that growth more inclusive and equitable. It further asserts that countries must use the global interest as a springboard to achieve broad structural transformation based on the needs and priorities of Africans. From 2008 up to 2012, the top 11 performers in Africa reached the 7 percent threshold estimated as a prerequisite for achieving the MDGs, with Ethiopia and Sierra Leone the top two. The report stated that Ethiopia’s growth has been propelled by increased public and private investment, improved macroeconomic management and an increasing role for manufacturing and services sectors, among other factors.
When it comes to inflation, the report indicated that, despite tightening its monitory policy, East Africa had the highest sub regional rate at 14.2 percent, because of the effects of the previous year’s severe drought on agricultural produce and uncertain weather conditions. The report also stated that Ethiopia had the highest inflation in the sub region at 25 percent.
Increasing economic diversity, rising agricultural output and exports, as well as new natural resource discoveries are expected to boost growth in East Africa, which has remained one of the top performing sub regions.
When it comes to reducing poverty, the report stated Ethiopia has experienced a dramatic reduction in poverty, and the proportion of the population living on less than USD 1.25 a day fell from 55.6 per cent in 2000 to 39 per cent in 2005 according to a 2010 World Bank report.
Looking at remittance, the report continued by stating that the annual inflow  to the continent is estimated to reach USD 60 billion by 2014 from USD 11.4 billion back in 2000.