Carlos Lopes

Africa Cheetah Run

The Former Executive Secretary's Blog


20 October 2016
Published by African Arguments. 20 October 2016

Industrialisation is an imperative for Africa. With a global economy constrained by climate change and driven by competitive supply chains, the continents’ aspirations are difficult to fulfil. Accelerated and profound economic structural transformation is the only means to do so and to address chronic poverty

1 July 2016

Poverty reduction has been essentially associated with a profound structural transformation of the economy, a process entailing a reallocation of economic activities from the less productive sectors to the more productive ones. The speed with which this process takes place has been a key factor that differentiates deve-lopment levels across countries. The issue of structural transformation has been at the core of economic development debates with initial empirical analyses originated with Fisher (1935, 1939) and Clark (1940) who dealt with sectoral shifts in the composition of the labor force.

21 June 2016
Air Transport, a Vital Challenge for Africa – Editorial

Air transport in Africa still does not count for much on a global scale. However, strong GDP growth, the continent’s fast-growing urbanization and the expansion of the middle classes – who want to travel – are likely to shake up this situation. The African aviation market is about to experience unprecedented growth. The IATA is forecasting an average annual increase of 5.7% in air traffic until 2034. The sector also offers major investment opportunities – estimated at over $160 billion for the acquisition of new aircraft alone.

13 June 2016

This lecture honouring Harold Wolpe comes at a time when his contribution is more appreciated than ever before. Although his focus was South Africa his provocative contributions surpassed the country. Wolpe was one of the admired conceptualisers of his generation. By inventing a new radicalism he left his mark on South African scholarship, introduced new approaches to the race question, and infuriated enough to be classified by some as a pariah. Academics that are activists always walk a similar path and indulge in their independence of thought.

7 June 2016
Africa’s Blue Economy: An opportunity not to be missed

Read at

The world’s oceans, seas and rivers are a major source of wealth, creating trillions of dollars’ worth in goods and services as well as employing billions of people. Three out of four jobs that make up the entire global workforce are water-dependent. It is forecasted that the annual economic value of maritime-related activities will reach 2.5 trillion euros per year by 2020, while the International Energy Agency estimates that renewable energy from the ocean has a power potential sufficient to provide up to 400% of current global energy demand. Yet Africa’s blue potential remains untapped.

3 June 2016

China’s relationship with Africa is changing. From what was once a narrative built on the sale of primary commodities, to fuel China’s booming economic growth, it is increasingly being defined by an emerging, confident Africa with its own socio-economic and political priorities. Many African countries now want tangible and credible benefits beyond the revenues from natural resource exports. In short, China’s relationship with Africa has transformed into one defined by dynamism and African agency, lessening the hold the former previously had.

30 May 2016

It costs more to move a container from Kenya to Burundi than from Belgium or the United Kingdom to Kenya. Twenty percent of Africa’s international infrastructure networks, such as the Trans-African Highway network, are impassable. Flight connectivity is the lowest in the world and centered on only about 328 hubs for a land mass of around 11.7 million square miles, making it time consuming and costly to travel between African countries (United Nations Statistics Division, 2016).

Published in the IMF's quarterly publication entitled: Finance and Development - June edition

30 May 2016

The Second Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Summit held in December 2015 marked the significance and extent to which China's relationship with Africa is changing. China's tripling of its financing commitment to US$60 billion signalled its confidence in the economic transformation prospects of the African continent. The changing Sino-Africa relationship is underpinned by a shift towards a more balanced partnership that recognises Africa's socio-economic and political priorities, beyond the demand for its natural resources.

Published in the Strategic Review for Southern Africa Volume 38, No 1, May 2016

25 February 2016

Ceci est une tribune de Carlos Lopes, Secrétaire exécutif de la Commission économique pour l’Afrique des Nations Unies. Titulaire d’un doctorat en histoire de l’Université de Paris I (Panthéon Sorbonne), ainsi que d’un master de recherche obtenu à l’Institut de hautes études internationales et du développement de Genève, il a d’abord servi dans la Fonction publique de son pays d’origine, la Guinée Bissau, dans les domaines de la recherche, de la diplomatie et de la planification, avant de rejoindre le Programme des Nations Unies pour le développement (PNUD) et les Nations Unies où il a occupé de hautes fonctions.

15 December 2015

J’aimerais exprimer ici ma vision pour l’Afrique en déclinant les besoins du continent en matière climatique à travers une stratégie articulée autour de six points. Il s’agit de permettre aux institutions africaines d’élaborer des politiques efficaces qui contribueront à l’émergence de sociétés et économies résilientes au changement climatique. En reconnaissant la transformation des modes de vie dans des conditions climatiques en perpétuel changement, j’ai la conviction que notre génération détient les solutions pour en maîtriser les impacts et les transformer en opportunités.

4 December 2015

África, conocida como el nuevo horizonte en el ámbito de las inversiones, presenta un atractivo cada vez más visible para las grandes empresas, instituciones e inversores.

9 November 2015

An ‘Africa data consensus’ will reform how countries produce stats for the SDGs and social needs, says Carlos Lopes.

9 November 2015

India and Africa have been intimately linked for centuries by ancient trade and investment links as well as close socioeconomic, cultural and political ties. These date from the era of the Mughal Empire to the struggle for freedom from colonial bondage and apartheid. The links are further reinforced by the 10 percent of Indian diaspora that lives in Africa. The journey of friendship has evolved on a path of cooperation that is multilayered, based on principles of South-South Cooperation and solidarity. Yet, very few know of the depth of this bond.

5 November 2015

The adoption of the post -015 development agenda/sustainable development goals (SDGs) and accompanying targets is a victory for Africa in many ways.  

20 October 2015

Financer la transformation de l’Afrique. Avec Amina J. Mohammed. Le . Le 13 juillet 2015

20 October 2015

Delivered on the occasion of the Second Commemorative Jakes Gerwel Lecture at the University of the Western Cape. Mail & Guardian Africa. 5 September 2015. 

9 October 2015

Les Africains célèbrent des potentialités plus que des résultats. Published in Libération on 30 September 2015.

1 October 2015

New African Magazine. Africa’s Time, the Thinkers Issues. October 2015

1 October 2015

Harnessing Foreign Direct Investment. Article published in the Africa Investment Report 2015; An FDI Destination on the Rise. This is Africa, October 2015.

6 July 2015
Paper presented by Mr. Carlos Lopes at the conference "Africa at a Fork in the Road: Taking Off or Disappointment Once Again?", organized by the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization at Yale University
1 July 2015

The Role of Big Data in Africa’s regional Integration.  International Trade Forum Magazine. July 2015

1 April 2015

Chaque jour, les talents créatifs de l’Afrique tiennent le haut de l’affiche. Au Cap, les voix des stars sud-africaines de l’opéra, Andiswa Kedama et Pauline Malefane, captivent le public dans U-Carmen eKhayelitsha, une adaptation en langue xhosa du fameux opéra de Bizet. À Agadez, Bombino, guitariste, auteur et compositeur de renom international, surnommé le nouveau Jimi Hendrix, envoûte les spectateurs avec ses paroles et musiques en faveur du changement. À Accra, plus de 30 000 personnes vont danser toute la nuit au concert de P-Square, le célèbre duo hip-hop nigérian. C’est avec le même enthousiasme que Luanda accueille sur scène Big Nelo et C4 Pedro. À Maputo, les mannequins défilent sur les estrades de la «semaine de la mode » avec, sur les épaules, les dernières créations des couturiers africains. Parmi eux, Alphadi du Niger, Intisaar Mukadam du Zimbabwe, David Tlale d’Afrique du Sud ou Taibo Bacar du Mozambique, jeune talent de 29 ans dont les robes ont déjà été présentées à Milan. À Kinshasa, des foules viennent apprécier les peintures et les sculptures de l’artiste Rhode Bath-Schéba Makoumbou. Sur tout le continent, comme dans la diaspora africaine, des familles regardent sur leurs écrans de télévision des films en provenance d’Égypte ou de Nollywood (le Hollywood nigérian)…

20 March 2015
The UN Special Magazine, March 2015, marking 65 years of multilateralism
11 March 2015
Economic Prospects for Africa in 2015
17 November 2014
The International Journal on Green Growth and Development, Vol.1(1) January 2015, Print ISSN : 2349-1892
13 November 2014
Op-ed published in the Mail & Guardian on 13 November 2014
8 October 2014
Op-ed published by This is Africa -A global perspective, Financial Times on 08 October 2014
25 September 2014
Published in the New African magazine, 25 September 2014
23 September 2014
Published as Special Op-ED for CNN on September 23, 2014
23 September 2014
Op-ed published by This is Africa -A global perspective, Financial Times on 23 September 2014
21 September 2014
Op-ED published in the Jeune Afrique -Edition of 21 September to 27 September.
10 September 2014
ECDPM's Great Insights: Volume 3 - Numéro 7 juillet / août 2014
6 September 2014
Op-ED on Small Developing Island States – published by multiple media outlets
4 September 2014
Op-ED on Small Developing Island States published by multiple media outlets in Portuguese
31 July 2014
ECDPM's Great Insights Issue 7 July-August 2014
27 May 2014
Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa
21 February 2014
AfricaRenewal UN Special Edition on Agriculture 2014
27 November 2013
Published in the UNIDO online magazine - "Making it"
25 November 2013
Published by Think Africa Press, 25 Nov 2013
20 November 2013
Op-ED Published by CNN
28 October 2013
Published in African Geopolitics Journal
15 August 2013
Op-ed published by This is Africa - A global perspective, Financial Times on 15 August 2013
28 April 2013
Published in in May 2013
10 January 2013
Paper was delivered at the Amilcar cabral Forum, Praia
1 December 2011
Dag Hammarskjold Conference- Published in Development Dialogue
1 September 2011
Published in Coimbra RCCS 94 and Geopolitique Africaine
1 April 2011
Published in Geopolitique Africaine
21 July 2010
Published in Geopolitique Africaine
8 April 2010
Published by 50 Jahre Unabhängigkeit in Afrika. Kontinuitäten, Brüche, Pesrpektiven
1 March 2010
Published in Demokratie, Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Berlin
9 April 2007
Publié par Valor Económico, Sao Paolo
29 July 2004
Published in Correio Braziliense, Rio de Janeiro
1 December 2003
Colóquio do Instituto de Estudos Estrategicos Internacionais, Lisbon