The services sector critical source of income and employment in Africa. As the most dominant sector in many African economies, it has become a dynamic driver of growth in the continent in recent years.
This dynamism, however, has not translated into a structural transformation of the continent.
Africa’s services provision remains suboptimal and is delivered at a high cost. Various regulatory and policy shortcomings prevail, which explain these inefficiencies and impede Africa’s capacity to fully capitalize on the potential of its services sector.
If the continent is to fully realize the benefits of development, services must play an enhanced role in the growth process.
Regulation of and policies for infrastructure services need to better target existing market failures and address structural impediments to improve performance in the sector and unleash the potential of Africa’s services economy.
The Economic Development in Africa Report 2015, subtitled Unlocking the Potential of Africa´s Services Trade for Growth and Development, examines some of the major policy issues that underlie Africa’s services sector and provides policy guidance on how services could contribute to Africa’s regional integration and generate inclusive growth and employment.
More broadly, the report discusses how services can contribute to sustainable growth and development continent-wide, especially given the enabling role of services and their capacity to link with other sectors. Africa needs to boost services trade and become better integrated in global value chains.
The report makes specific and actionable policy recommendations on how to better leverage Africa’s services trade and the related development, employment and growth benefits.
The report emphasizes the need for greater policy coherence at the national, regional and international levels to address services sector and trade policy disconnects.