Africa’s economic growth seen speeding up to 4.8% in 2014, 5.2% in 2015 - African Economic Outlook

By bne IntelliNews May 20, 2014

Africa’s economic growth will likely quicken from an estimated 4.2% in 2013 to 4.8% in 2014 and further to 5.2% in 2015, levels last seen before the onset of the 2009 global recession, according to the African Economic Outlook 2014 report, produced by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the OECD Development Centre and the UN Development Programme (UNDP). The forecast excludes the distortions by volatile GDP developments in Libya and assumes a gradual improvement of the global economy and improvements in political and social stability in those African countries currently affected by conflicts.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, growth is projected to accelerate from 5% in 2013 to 5.8% in 2014. Excluding South Africa, which has been plagued by a significant slowdown, growth was 6.1% last year and seen at 6.8% this year. Within Sub-Saharan Africa, East and West Africa recorded the fastest growth in 2013, at 6.2% and 6.7%, respectively. However, while growth in West Africa is seen speeding up further to 7.2% this year, East Africa is projected to experience a slowdown to 6.0%.

Mthuli Ncube, Chief Economist and Vice-President of the AfDB commented: “In order to sustain the economic growth and ensure that it creates opportunities for all, African countries should continue to rebuild shock absorbers and exercise prudent macro management. Any slackening on macro management will undermine future economic growth,” said. He added that the continent can achieve strong, sustained and inclusive growth through more effective participation in regional and global value chains and avoiding getting stuck in low value-added activities. While Africa’s exports to the rest of the world grew faster than those of any other region in 2012, they remained dominated by primary commodities and accounted for only 3.5% of world merchandise exports in 2012.

Real GDP growth, % 2013 (e) 2014 (f) 2015 (f)
Central Africa 3.7 6.2 5.7
East Africa 6.2 6.0 6.2
North Africa 1.9 3.1 5.5
Southern Africa 3.0 4.0 4.4
West Africa 6.7 7.2 7.1
Africa (excluding Lybia) 4.2 4.8 5.2
Source: African Economic Outlook      

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