Economic transformation refers to two linked development processes. One is structural
change: the shift of workers and other resources from low-productivity sectors, such as
subsistence agriculture, to high-productivity sectors, such as industry and modern services.
The other is faster productivity growth within various sectors. Economic transformation is a
fundamental driver of improved living standards, resilience, and self-reliance. The process of
economic transformation is both initiated and accelerated when the main sector of the
economy starts to experience productivity growth. In most sub-Saharan African countries,
agriculture and the broader agri-food system remain the primary source of employment and
incomes for most of the population. Hence, agricultural productivity growth (i.e., increases
over time in the ratio of agricultural output to inputs) remains one of the key challenges to be
addressed by African governments, but it is by no means the only challenge, especially for
fragile and resource-rich countries. A balanced approach that considers the full range of
actions necessary to achieve economic transformation is required, acknowledging the
synergies between growth in agriculture, downstream value chains, and non-farm sectors, as
well as education, governance, water, sanitation and health, and hard and soft infrastructure.