African countries with a clearly defined National Development Plan (NDP) have realized real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in recent years compared to those without one. According to The African Governance Report 2019, there is a correlation between a long-term a national vision and a country’s economic growth.
The purpose of the report which was released in Kenya’s Capital, Nairobi on Tuesday, December 10, is to measure growth on the continent in five aspects that is; economic performance, human development, peace and security.
Of these, socio-economic development has been deemed the weakest. The assessment is measured in relation to the African Union’s Vision for the continent, also known as, Agenda 2063. This envisions sustainable and inclusive economic growth, driven by Africans, especially, women and the youth.
The report notes that 46 out of the 54 African countries have clearly defined long-term national visions while the remaining 8 are either in conflict or recovering from one.
Using per head count method, the report indicates that real GDP growth in South and Central Africa is not as inclusive as in the North and East.
However, the per-head-count method is contentious because macroeconomic measures tend to distort general figures due to economic inequalities. This is because the rich minority have a lot more than the poorer majority.
AU on Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and governance
The report also noted that overlapping membership in the continent’s eight regional economic blocs is blocking the hand of the African Union.
The AU wants regional economic blocs to ratify the continental free trade agreement and to align their development frameworks with the Agenda 2063. These economic communities are seen as building blocks towards a self-reliant African Economic Community, and the realization of the 1991 Abuja Treaty.
One of the goals of the AU’s Agenda 2063 for peace and prosperity is to “silence the gun by 2020.” It is only two weeks to 2020 and guns are still cracking on the continent. In fact, participants at the Russia-Africa Summit in October were spellbound by the assortment of guns on display. Some politicians like Central African Republic’s President Faustin-Archange Touadéra blatantly asked Vladmir Putin for more ammunition. This is a clear demonstration of the distance between the willingness and efforts in place to achieve “The Africa We Want,” the slogan for Agenda 2063.