World Bank predicts economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa

The economic outlook for sub-Saharan Africa is cautiously optimistic, according to the World Bank report on African economies, Africa’s Pulse.

Africa’s Pulse, the World Bank analysis of African economies, predicts regional growth in sub-Saharan Africa. It was published on 19 April 2017. (Image: Africa’s Pulse)

Brand South Africa reporter

The 15th edition of Africa’s Pulse, the World Bank’s biannual analysis of African economies, shows that economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is rebounding in 2017.

“The region is showing signs of recovery, and regional growth is projected to reach 2.6% in 2017,” says the bank. “However, the recovery remains weak, with growth expected to rise only slightly above population growth, a pace that hampers efforts to boost employment and reduce poverty.”

The report notes that the continent’s aggregate growth is expected to rise to 3.2% in 2018 and 3.5% in 2019, reflecting a recovery in the largest economies.

Optimistic but cautious

Africa’s largest economies, Nigeria, Angola and South Africa, are rebounding after the sharp slowdown in 2016. But, according to the World Bank, the “recovery has been slow due to insufficient adjustment to low commodity prices and policy uncertainty”.

Seven countries — Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Rwanda, Senegal and Tanzania — have shown economic resilience, reveals the data in the report. It is supported by domestic demand, posting annual growth rates above 5.4% in 2015-2017.

“These countries house nearly 27% of the region’s population and account for 13% of the region’s total GDP,” says the bank.

“As countries move towards fiscal adjustment, we need to protect the right conditions for investment so that sub-Saharan African countries achieve a more robust recovery,” says Albert G Zeufack, the World Bank chief economist for Africa.

“We need to implement reforms that increase the productivity of African workers and create a stable macroeconomic environment. Better and more productive jobs are instrumental to tackling poverty on the continent.”

To read the full report, click here.

Source: World Bank

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