n their latest joint report, the African Economic Outlook (AEO) 2015, the African Development Bank, the OECD Development Centre and the UNDP find the continent poised to resume its medium-term growth trend of about 5% per year (AfDB et al., 2015). In the next decades, however, a number of internal and external factors will alter the context in which African policy makers seek to accelerate growth and deepen structural transformation. In particular, demographic growth will shake up labour markets. Based on the conclusions of the AEO 2015, this article suggests that tapping better the economic potential of Africa’s diverse regions, which too often escape the attention of national policy makers, is one innovative way of rising up to the challenge. Multi-sectoral, place-based and participatory development strategies can contribute to unlocking that potential.
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