AfDB Predicts Faster Growth For Africa’s Economy Through 2021

The African Development Bank(AfDB) has said that the continent’s economic growth will pick up to 3.9% and 4.1% in 2020 and 2021 respectively from 3.4% recorded in 2019.

The bank made this forecast in the 2020 African Economic Outlook (AEO) report published on its website.

According to the bank, the expected growth forecast is partly due to the moderate expansion of the big five countries in the continent’s including Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, and South Africa, which jointly grew at an average rate of 3.1 %, compared with the average of 4.0 % for the rest of the continent.

For the first time in a decade, the report stated that investment expenditure, rather than consumption, accounted for over 50% of GDP growth in 2019, adding that this shift if maintained can help sustain and potentially accelerate future growth in Africa.

It further noted that the shift will help increase the continent’s current and future productive base while improving the productivity of the workforce.

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A breakdown of the report showed that East Africa maintained its lead as the continent’s fastest-growing region, with average growth estimated at 5% in 2019 followed by North Africa at 4.1 %, while West Africa’s growth rose to 3.7 % in 2019, up from 3.4 % the year before.

Central Africa grew at 3.2 % in 2019, up from 2.7 % in 2018, while Southern Africa’s growth slowed considerably over the same period, from 1.2 % to 0.7%.

Meanwhile, the bank called for calls for quick action to address human capital development in African countries, where it said the quantity and quality of human capital are much lower than in other regions of the world.

“Africa needs to build skills in information and communication technology and in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The Fourth Industrial Revolution will place increasing demands on educational systems that are producing graduates versed in these skills,” the report noted.

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