Sub-Saharan Africa’s Growth

 Economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa continues to recover steadily and is forecasted to pick up to 3.1% in 2018 and to firm to an average of 3.6% in 2019–20. This moderate growth upswing nonetheless remains uneven, with considerable variation across countries.

Among Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest economies, a slower than previously anticipated recovery in the oil sector and continued challenges in the non-oil industrial sectors will weigh on activity in Nigeria. The growth forecasts for Angola and South Africa have been revised slightly upward, on the expectation that slowing inflation and improving sentiment would help sustain the ongoing recovery in domestic demand, especially in investment. However, although political transitions have opened opportunities for reforms in Angola and South Africa, implementation of these reforms is likely to be gradual and suggests a cautious growth outlook for these countries.

For oil exporters in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC), recovery will be slower than previously expected as they continue to adjust to high debt levels and low external buffers.

Among non-resource intensive countries, activity in 2018 and 2019–20 is expected to remain robust. Solid growth, supported by infrastructure investment, will continue in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), led by Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal.  Growth prospects have improved in most of East Africa, owing to improving agriculture sector growth following droughts and a rebound in private sector credit growth.  Growth in Ethiopia will remain the highest in the region, as government-led infrastructure investment continues.

However, many challenges remain. Public debt levels are rising, which might jeopardize debt sustainability in some countries; the availability of good jobs has not kept pace with the number of entrants in the labor force; and poverty is widespread. While the region’s per capita gross domestic product (GDP) growth will turn positive in 2018, it will remain insufficient to reduce poverty significantly.Total poverty headcount at the international poverty line ($1.90/day in 2011 PPP) is projected to decline only marginally.

 

Source: World Bank