World Bank sees sub-Saharan Africa GDP growth up in 2017

(EBC; April 20, 2017) - Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is seen rising between this year and 2019, helped by better commodity prices but the continent needs to do more to boost per capita income and create jobs, World Bank chief economist for Africa said on Wednesday.

Sub-Saharan African economies have been hit by lower commodity prices which has slowed growth, slashed government revenues and weakened several of the currencies on the continent.

The World Bank said in its latest "Africa's Pulse" report that economic growth was seen expanding to 2.6 percent this year and further to 3.2 percent in 2018 and 3.5 percent a year later.

Sub-Saharan African growth was an estimated 1.3 percent in 2016, the lowest for two decades, the World Bank said.

World Bank chief economist for Africa Albert Zeufack said the economies of Angola, Nigeria and South Africa -- which make up 60 percent of GDP -- was recovering but at a weak pace and per capita income was growing in negative terms.

"We are pleased that Africa is back to growth but we are not out of the woods yet. That's why we need to strengthen reforms to make sure stability is maintained," Zeufack told reporters in Africa via webcast.

He said the upturn in economic activity is expected to continue in 2018-19, reflecting improvements in commodity prices, a pickup in global growth, and more supportive domestic conditions.

Source: Reuters