Key messages of the second session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development

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Publication Date: 
19 May 2016
Economic and Social Council
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The Economic Commission for Africa, together with the Government of Egypt, the African Union Commission and the African Development Bank, and in collaboration with the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs, the United Nations Environment Programme, the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Population Fund, convened the second session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development in Cairo from 17 to 19 May 2016, in preparation for the 2016 session of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, to be held in New York from 11 to 20 July 2016.

Africa’s remarkable growth over the past 15 years, ranging between four and five per cent on average, has largely been on the back of resourcecommodity booms. While this has generated significant fiscal revenues for most countries, it has not created many jobs owing to the capital-intensive and enclave nature of such activities, and consequently large segments of the population have been excluded from the growth process. Poverty, unemployment and underemployment remain high and inequality is also increasing in a number of countries. Based on 2012 data, 389 million Africans are poor; 12 per cent of the population is unemployed, with youth unemployment even higher, at 21 per cent; 80 per cent of jobs are vulnerable; and income inequality, as measured by the Gini coefficient, is high at 0.43, second only to Latin America.