Africa GDP growth to strengthen in 2018, says World Bank

Economic growth is rebounding in sub-Saharan Africa with the region’s GDP projected to expand at the fastest rate since 2015, according to the World Bank. But it is still not fast enough as it is far from pre-crisis growth levels, Albert Zeufack, the Bank’s chief economist for Africa said.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s economic activity is projected to grow by 3.1% in 2018, rising to an average of 3.6% in 2019–20, said Africa’s Pulse, a bi-annual analysis of the state of African economies conducted by the World Bank, released on Wednesday.

“The growth forecasts are premised on expectations that oil and metals prices will remain stable, and that governments in the region will implement reforms to address macroeconomic imbalances and boost investment,” the report said.

One of the significant determinants of the forecast is an improvement in economic conditions in South Africa, Angola, and Nigeria – sub-Saharan Africa’s largest economies. The Bank said Nigeria has registered an increase in oil production, while higher oil prices and slowing inflation are driving recovery in Angola and South Africa, respectively. Business confidence in the two southern Africa countries is also up following changes in top political leadership.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s economic growth in 2017 was 2.6% from 1.5% the previous year. It was supported by rising oil and metals production, recovering commodity prices, better agricultural conditions following droughts, and an improvement in consumer spending. In 2015 the region’s economy expanded by 3%.