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Africa needs steadfast microeconomic reforms

World Bank Chief Economist for Africa Region Albert G. Zeufack says governments of Sub- Saharan African countries need steadfast micro-economic reforms that will put the continent on the right trajectory of development.

Addressing journalists Wednesday, 18 April from Washington D.C., the United States, Mr. Zeufack says the press conference is a regular briefing used by the World Bank to update the world on Africa. 

He explains that Wednesday’s event was to provide finding from report of the 17th Edition of the African Pulse on the status of Sub-Saharan African countries.
He says the 17th Edition of the African Pulse has recorded three main findings, noting the first finding is economic growth has rebounded in sub-Saharan Africa, but such growth was not fast enough.

“Our government needs to speedup microeconomic reforms, and deepen structure reforms, if we are to bring growth back to Africa to pre-crisis level,” he stresses.
The World Bank Chief Economist reveals that Africa has only grown by 3.1 percent, the projection for 2018, and 3.6 percent in 2019-2020, adding that the second finding is Africa needs to pay more attention to rising public debt, cautioning that change in composition of debt has now pushed the countries to more risk.

The third finding of the African Pulse is African countries must leverage innovation to provide access to electrification for quality, and reliable electricity to the people.
He says the growths forecast are premised on expectation that oil and metal prices would remain stable, and that governments in the region will implement reforms to address macroeconomic imbalance and boost investment in their various countries.

For her part, World Bank Lead Economist Punam Chuhan-Pole points out that though growth has rebounded in sub- Saharan Africa, but not fast enough, “We are still far from pre-crisis growth level, and governments must speedup and deepen macroeconomic reforms and structural reforms to achieve high and sustainable level of growth”, she adds.

She notes that for many African countries, economic recovery is vulnerable to fluctuation in commodity prices and production, which underscores needs for countries to build resilience by pushing diversification strategies to the top of the policy agenda.

Ms Chuhan-Pole further explains that public debt relative to GDP is rising in the region, and the composition of debt has changed, as countries have shifted away from traditional concessional sources of financing toward more market-based ones, adding that higher debt burden and increasing exposure to market risk raise concern about debt sustainability on the continent.

By Lewis S. Teh -Editing by Jonathan Browne

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