, Volume 58, Issue 4, pp 473–491 | Cite as

Can the SDGs Promote Structural Transformation in Africa? An Empirical Analysis

  • Bartholomew Armah
  • Seung-Jin Baek
Thematic Section


The adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 has refocused global attention on the centrality of sustainability to the development discourse. Meanwhile, African countries are prioritizing structural transformation in their national and continental development programmes to promote employment through commodity-based industrialization. How will efforts to promote economic, social and environmental sustainability influence Africa’s agenda for structural transformation? Using panel data for of 29 African countries for the period 1995–2011, this article empirically analyzes the impact of economic, social and environmental sustainability on structural transformation in Africa. Our findings indicate that structural transformation is optimized when policy interventions adopt an integrated approach to sustainable development that takes into account all of its dimensions.


sustainable development structural transformation panel data factor analysis Africa 


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Copyright information

© Society for International Development 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Macroeconomic Policy Division United Nations Economic Commission for AfricaAddis AbabaEthiopia

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