World Bank emphasizes infrastructure in new Africa Pulse forecasts

By AT editor - 20 April 2017 at 12:20 am
World Bank emphasizes infrastructure in new Africa Pulse forecasts

Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is showing signs of recovery, the World Bank said Wednesday, but regional growth in 2017 is still projected to reach a comparatively weak 2.6 percent.

Seven countries show the greatest economic resilience, with annual growth rates above 5.4 percent in the 2015-2017 period. They include Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Rwanda, Senegal and Tanzania. These countries account for 27 percent of regional population and 13 percent of sub-Saharan Africa’s total GDP.

Meanwhile, the continent’s largest economies in high-profile South Africa, Nigeria and Angola are seeing slow recoveries that continue to feel the effects of low commodity prices. The region’s overall weak recovery will continue to frustrate governments and civil agencies focused on poverty reduction and employment.

The data is published in the latest of World Bank’s “Africa Pulse” assessments, which are issued twice each year. The GDP growth forecast reflects a downward adjustment from the 2.9 percent expected in the September 2016 report. The 2018 outlook is also lowered, with 3.2 percent GDP growth anticipated, a level that is again expected to rise to 3.5 percent in 2019.

“With poverty rates still high, regaining the growth momentum is imperative,” said Punam Chuhan-Pole, World Bank lead economist and author of the report. “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.”

Overall, the report calls for reforms to improve private sector growth and develop local capital markets. A special section of this latest report is dedicated to infrastructure in African nations, including success in water and communications services but also remaining challenges with electricity and roads.

The full document is available from World Bank at this link.

Image: World Bank

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