Issue Briefs A-Z

  • Primary Commodity Booms and Busts
    Apr 18, 2016

    Commodity boom is one of the major drivers of economic growth in Africa over the past decade. Most African countries experienced appreciable growth to the extent that sub-Saharan Africa was rated as the second fastest growing region globally between 2000 and 2010. Over the past one year, however, the rising trend of commodity prices is giving way to a declining trend. Most of the primary commodities such as gold, iron ore, crude oil, cotton and cereal that have been sustaining most countries have experienced tumbling prices since October 2013.The fall in prices ranges from about 9.3% in cereal to about 40.3% in iron ore – a double tragedy for the three Ebola epicenter countries that rely heavily on iron ore. Cocoa is, however, one of the few exceptions with a rising trend over the same period – about 18%.The unfolding development is posing some challenges to national governments in terms of resources to fund development projects and running costs. In some countries, it has started to manifest in the form of macroeconomic imbalances such as decline in external reserves, fall national currencies, increase in budget deficits, and rise in public debts, to mention a few. Some countries have been struggling to pay salaries of public servants over the past months. This could also affect capacity to sustain social protection programmes for the vulnerable and marginalized groups, which is considered to be critical in the continent’s transformation agenda and the Agenda 2063 of the African Union as well as the development aspirations of countries.

  • Africa Human Development Report 2016
    Aug 28, 2016

    Gender inequality is costing sub-Saharan Africa on average $US95 billion a year, peaking at US$105 billion in 2014– or six percent of the region’s GDP – jeopardising the continent’s efforts for inclusive human development and economic growth, according to the Africa Human Development Report 2016.

  • Study on the State National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in Africa
    Nov 3, 2016

    This is a Report on the findings and recommendations emanating from a study (undertaken from June 2014 to March 2015) on the state of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in Africa, conducted for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Network for African Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI).

  • Towards Sustainable Development for All in Africa
    Jul 29, 2016

    A look at UNDP's partnership with Japan as the fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development convenes.