Africa's Economic Growth on the Upswing Featured

20 Apr 2017
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Washington April 19/2017  Some 7 African countries, including Ethiopia, will continue exhibiting economic resilience, supported by domestic demand, posting annual growth rates above 5.4 percent in 2015-2017, the World Bank said. 

The countries, namely Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Rwanda, Senegal, and Tanzania, continue to exhibit economic resilience, supported by domestic demand, posting annual growth rates above 5.4 percent in 2015-2017, said a press release of World Bank.  house nearly 27 percent of the sub-Saharan population and account for 13 percent of the region’s total GDP.

GDP growth in Ethiopia, Senegal, and Tanzania whose economies depend less on extractive commodities should remain robust, underpinned by infrastructure investments, resilient services sectors, and the recovery of agricultural production, the new bi-annual analysis of the state of African economies conducted by the World Bank stated.

 “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,” Albert G. Zeufack, World Bank Chief Economist for the Africa Region, was quoted as saying.

The Chief Economist added that “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.”

The region is showing signs of recovery, and regional growth is projected to reach 2.6 percent in 2017.

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 press release of World Bank noted.

The global economic outlook is improving and should support the recovery in the region.

The continent’s aggregate growth is expected to rise to 3.2 percent in 2018 and 3.5 percent in 2019, reflecting a recovery in the largest economies while it will remain subdued for oil exporters, it was further revealed.

A stronger-than-expected tightening of global financing conditions, weaker improvements in commodity prices, and a rise in protectionist sentiment represent downside external risks to the outlook.

While World Bank Lead Economist and author of the report, Punam Chuhan-Pole, said “growth needs to be more inclusive and will involve tackling the slowdown in investment and the high trade logistics that stand in the way of competitiveness.”

The Africa’s Pulse report on the region’s infrastructure performance across sectors revealed dramatic improvements in quantity and quality of telecommunications contrasted by persistent lags in electricity generation and access.

The report calls for urgent implementation of reforms to improve institutions that foster private sector growth, develop local capital markets, improve infrastructure, and strengthen domestic resource mobilization.

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