Africa’s economic growth is forecast to rise to about 4 per cent this year and next from 3.4 per cent in 2019, driven by infrastructure investments and natural resource exports, the African Development Bank (AfDB) said on Thursday.
Growth last year was below the average 5 per cent rate of the past decade, the AfDB said in an annual report, due to slower growth in the continent’s “big five” economies — Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa.
The expected acceleration in growth to 3.9 per cent in 2020 and 4.1 per cent in 2021 will be marked by a shift away from private consumption toward investment and net exports, the report said.
Last year was the first time in a decade that investment spending accounted for a larger share of GDP growth than consumption, the AfDB said.
East Africa was the fastest-growing region in 2019 at 5 per cent, and six African countries were among the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies: Rwanda, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Tanzania and Benin.
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Southern Africa posted the slowest growth in 2019 at just 0.7 per cent, held back by Cyclones Idai and Kenneth and a nearly 13 per cent contraction in Zimbabwe.
The report said that higher oil prices were a significant contributor to growth last year. However, it added that only a third of countries have achieved inclusive growth and that, based on current trends, Africa is not on track to meet an international goal of eradicating extreme poverty by 2030.