Economic growth is projected to reach 2.6 per cent in 2017 in Sub-Saharan Africa as a sign of recovery; after registering the worst decline in more than two decades in 2016.
According to the new Africa’s Pulse, a bi-annual analysis of the state of African economies, conducted by the World Bank and released on Wednesday, the recovery remains weak with growth expected to rise only slightly above population growth.
The report says the pace of growth hampers efforts to boost employment and reduce poverty.
Albert G. Zeufack, World Bank Chief Economist for the Africa Region 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.”
“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,” he added.
Regional growth remains insufficient to raise per capita incomes. Per capita gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to contract by 0.1 per cent in 2017, before rising moderately by less than one per cent a year in 2018 to 2019.
Africa’s Pulse notes that the continent’s aggregate growth is expected to rise to 3.2 per cent in 2018 and 3.5 per cent in 2019, reflecting a recovery in the largest economies.
For oil exporters, growth will remain subdued while metal exporters are projected to experience a moderate uptick.
The report said GDP growth in countries such as 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 region is faced with the urgent need to regain momentum in growth and make it more inclusive coupled with undertaking much-needed development spending without laying on the line hard-won debt sustainability.
Africa’s Pulse said the Region would require deep reforms to improve institutions for private sector growth, develop capital markets, improve the quantity and quality of public infrastructure, enhance the efficiency of utilities, and strengthen domestic resource mobilisation.