The Economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is likely to reach more than 5 per cent on average in 2013-2015 as a result of high commodity prices worldwide and strong consumer spending on the continent, a new study has shown.
The World Bank’s latest Africa Pulse, , a twice-yearly analysis of the issues shaping Africa’s economic prospects. said this development shows that the region remains amongst the fastest growing in the world — according to the World Bank’s latest Africa’s Pulse
In 2012, about a quarter of African countries grew at 7 per cent or higher and a number of African countries, notably Sierra Leone, Niger, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and Rwanda, are among the fastest growing in the world.
The new World Bank report forecasts that medium-term growth prospects remain strong and will be supported by a gradually improving world economy, consistently high commodity prices, and more investment in regional infrastructure, trade, and business growth.
Welcoming the new assessment that Africa continues to grow faster than the global average, the World Bank’s Vice President called on the need for faster progress in areas such as electricity and food in the vulnerable areas of The Sahel and the Horn of Africa, and that significantly more energy and agricultural productivity were needed to raise the quality of life for Africans throughout the continent and reduce poverty significantly.
“African countries will need to bring more electricity, nutritious food, jobs and opportunity to families and communities across the continent in order to better their lives, end extreme poverty, and promote shared prosperity,” said the World Bank’s Africa Vice President Makhtar Diop. “Without more electricity and higher agricultural productivity, Africa’s development future cannot prosper. The good news is that governments in Africa are intent on changing this.”
Diop also urged African governments and their development partners to upgrade the continent’s statistical capacity so that citizens could better measure and monitor their development progress and analyze the reasons for its success and failure, especially in resource-rich countries and fragile states, where data gathering and analysis remained weak.
New mineral discoveries drive growth
Africa’s Pulse says that recent discoveries of oil, natural gas, copper, and other strategic minerals, and the expansion of several mines or the building of new ones in Mozambique, Niger, Sierra Leone, and Zambia, together with better political and economic governance, were sustaining solid economic growth across the continent.
Looking forward, it is expected that by 2020, only 4 or 5 countries in the region will not be involved in mineral exploitation of some kind, such is Africa’s abundance of natural resources.
The World Bank says that given the considerable amounts of new mineral revenues coming on stream across the region, resource-rich African countries will consciously need to invest these new earnings in better health, education, and jobs, and less poverty for their people in order to maximize their national development prospects.