Reports and Publications

OSAA produces a number of publications within its mandate. These range from mandated Secretary-General’s reports to policy briefs on various issues affecting Africa. The reports provide the research needed for OSAA to carry out its advisory, advocacy, coordination and monitoring roles.

Factsheet: Ghana and the Credit Rating Agencies

This factsheet on Ghana and credit rating agencies looks at the downgrade of the country’s sovereign ratings and the impact on the economy and debt situation.

In February 2022 Moody’s downgraded Ghana’s rating, citing challenges related to liquidity, high risk of debt default and weak revenue generation, despite the country’s arguments emphasizing its strong economic fundamentals. Ghana expressed reservations about Moody’s rating assessment based on the agency’s technical inaccuracies and omissions of important information, thus reigniting the debate about the credibility of credit rating agencies while raising questions about the robustness of their methodologies and biased opinions, especially towards African countries. Read the factsheet in EN.

More information on this topic is available in the panel discussion on Credit rating agencies, fiscal space and fragility in Africa and the policy paper on Eurobonds, debt sustainability in Africa and credit rating agencies.

Stronger States for Increased Stability: Digitalization of Public Service Delivery for Peace and Security in Africa

The weak presence of the State – including the delivery of public services – is a key contributing driver to instability and violent conflict in Africa. Indeed, a direct line can be drawn between deficiencies and chronic under-capacity in public service delivery on the continent and continued conflict and instability. While service delivery is not the only determinant of State legitimacy, it is a primary way by which many citizens directly encounter the State and shapes their overall perception of it. In this regard, service delivery can affect the risk of violence, in that it affects State legitimacy.

This Advocacy Brief was developed to supplement the United Nations Secretary-General’s biennial report on the review of the implementation of commitments made towards Africa’s development (A/75/950), section E “Promoting peaceful and inclusive societies by silencing the guns in Africa”, and the United Nations Secretary-General’s report on the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa (A/75/917-S/2021/562). Read the brief in AR, EN, ES, FR, PT, RU, ZH.


Eurobonds, Debt Sustainability in Africa and Credit Rating Agencies

This policy paper assesses the role of Credit Rating Agencies on the cost of borrowing on the international capital markets for African countries and the impact of downgrading on selected African countries that have issued Eurobonds. This has resulted in billions of dollars being lost to fiscal space and service delivery to those most in need. 

It analyses the shift in Africa’s debt structure towards an increased share of private financing and the associated risks and opportunities, with a particular focus on Eurobonds. The paper also examines the rising concerns about Africa’s debt sustainability, especially in relation to the upcoming Eurobonds wall of maturities and the risk of debt default.

It assesses the performance of the investment of debt proceeds in infrastructure development and the relationship between public expenditure, governance, and borrowing and underscores the responsibility of African Countries to change their reality by owning their narrative and changing the perception. In conclusion, it provides recommendations to maximize financing opportunities and sustain future access to international capital markets as African countries emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and build forward better. Read the policy paper in EN

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as an Enabler for Development and Peace

Strong evidence suggests that Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) can be important determinants of a country’s economic development and contribute to peace and security. The Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA), through its Africa Knowledge Network Working Group for STEM produced this policy paper to illustrate the role of STEM education in enabling development and peace in Africa.

The paper highlights that STEM education is critical for creatively developing solutions and innovations that Africa needs for sustainable development. It examines the current status of STEM in Africa and notes that although there has been progress in access and quality of STEM Education, with significant examples of good practices and impacts, visible outputs from scientific productivity and knowledge systems are still below acceptable levels. This underscores the need for a holistic and multidisciplinary approach to promote STEM education in order to record significant development in Africa. The policy paper also explores how existing frameworks and strategies in promoting science, technology, innovation (STI) and STEM education are being implemented at policy and grassroots levels to support the implementation of the African Union Agenda 2063 and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. Read the policy paper in EN.

Policy Brief: The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)

Established in 2018 and operationalized in January 2021, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) holds great potential for promoting Africa’s inclusive growth and sustainable development. The trade agreement creates a market of 1.3 billion people and a combined GDP of $3.4 trillion.  A year after the AfCFTA’s operationalization, this policy brief looks at progress, challenges and status of implementation. It also makes recommendations for Africa to fully benefit from the agreement. Read the policy brief in AREN, ES, FR, PT, RU, ZH.

Read about the authors, Gilberto António and Hussein El-Shaar

Study: Intensifying the fight against corruption and money laundering in Africa

Illicit financial flows (IFFs) cost Africa around US$88.6 billion per year. They have hamstrung progress and created poverty, insecurity and financial challenges which today impede implementing the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development and the AU Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want. IFFs have also driven the African continent towards indebtedness, in addition to eroding funds that could be used for services such as education, health care and infrastructure. 

This study focuses on one form of IFF, namely corruption and the resultant money laundering. It describes and analyzes the symbiotic relationship between corruption and money laundering and how they mutually reinforce an IFF ecosystem inclined towards draining resources needed for development. It further proposes measures to enhance the effectiveness of the fight against corruption and money laundering. 

This study is produced by the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA) within its mandate to support analytical work in improving coherence and coordination of the UN System support to Africa and to facilitate intergovernmental deliberations on Africa. Read the study in EN. Read about the author: Lyla Latif.

Biennial report on the review of the implementation of commitments made towards Africa’s development

The fourth biennial report of the Secretary-General was prepared against the backdrop of the sixth year of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the global call for action by the Secretary-General to accelerate implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as eight years of implementation of the African Union’s Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want through its first 10-year implementation plan (2014–2023). The report reviews the implementation of commitments made by Africa’s traditional, new and emerging development partners, as well as African countries themselves. Those commitments, which are anchored in the principles of mutual accountability and partnerships, arise, inter alia, from major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields. This publication is available in EN


Previous Reports 

2014  2018

Policy Brief: Africa and Food Security

This policy brief builds on a conversation on Food Security and Famine Prevention in Africa. The ideas in this policy brief have been informed by the authors' ongoing research and experience in their individual capacities and as a contribution to the Knowledge Network of the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA), which was launched on 29 June 2021. The OSAA Knowledge Network creates a platform for the Office to engage with academics, experts and think tanks through a win-win partnership, and seeks to bring visibility to the work of the experts on the global arena. Products from the Knowledge Network, such as this policy brief, will be used to enhance the Office's advocacy on African priorities, as articulated in the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Read the policy brief in EN

Read about the authors: Professor Logan CochraneProfessor Melisew Dejene LemmaDr. Nathanael OjongDr. Alex O. Awiti and Ms. Winnie Sambu

Secretary-General's Report on the New Partnership for Africa's Development

This report (A/75/918) is prepared in response to General Assembly resolution A/74/301 requesting the Secretary-General to submit on an annual basis a comprehensive and action-oriented report on the implementation of the resolution, based on the provision of inputs from Governments, organizations of the United Nations system and other stakeholders in the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). The present report, which was prepared by the Offce of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA), reviews progress in the implementation of four key NEPAD’s priorities that are fundamental to the realization of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and the Africa Union Agenda 2063. These are: regional integration; infrastructure development; industrialization; and health in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. This publication is available in: EN

Report of the Secretary General on the Promotion of Durable Peace and Sustainable Development in Africa

This report is prepared by the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA) in response to the General Assembly resolution 74/302 requesting the Secretary-General to monitor and report on an annual basis on persistent and emerging challenges to the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa. Other departments, offices, agencies, funds and programmes of the UN system contributed to the report through the Inter-Departmental Task Force on African Affairs (IDTFAA). In implementing this mandate, OSAA also engaged with a broad range of stakeholders, including Member States, nongovernmental and civil society organizations, the private sector, academia, women and youth groups. This report is available in: EN

Previous Reports 

2019   2018   2017   2015   2013    2012    2011    2010    2009    2008    2007    2004    2003    2002    2001    2000    1998

Policy Brief: Impact of COVID-19 in Africa

Image of the cover of the policy brief.The COVID-19 pandemic is having a dramatic effect on economies and various sections of society in Africa. Economies, livelihoods, health, social services and development have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. Vulnerable groups are among the worst affected, particularly informal workers, young people, women, persons with disabilities, refugees and migrants. Written in the early days of the pandemic, this policy brief takes a snapshot of immediate impacts of the pandemic on health, economies, peace, security, human rights and humanitarian assistance in Africa. It outlines response measures currently being taken by African and external stakeholders and provides recommendations to protect gains in the fight against the pandemic and maximise opportunities in the recovery for a more inclusive and sustainable future as countries emerge from this crisis. This report is available in: EN

Mapping Study of the Conflict Prevention Capabilities of African Regional Economic Communities

Image of the cover of the Mapping Report.This publication assesses the conflict prevention capabilities of the African Regional Economic Communities (RECs), with an aim to raise global awareness and mobilize international support for efforts being made the RECs in enhancing their institutional capacities to better assist their Member States in preventing conflict and sustaining peace. Specifically, the publication maps: (i) the geopolitical context that informs the work of the RECs on conflict prevention, (ii) the existing organizational structure of each REC, as well as their institutional mandates, policies, structures, tools, strategies and programmes, partnerships and resources for conflict prevention, (iii) their current challenges, gaps and capacity needs, covering both operational and structural dimensions, and (iv) entry points and opportunities for strengthening the institutional capacities of the RECs on conflict prevention. Seven of Africa’s eight RECs are covered in the publication, which was based on a study that utilized a combination of methods – namely: one-on-one in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, desk review of internal documents and an expert group meeting involving the representatives of the RECs and other experts from African regional organizations, civil society and development partners. This publication is available in: EN

Reports and Publications