Just In: World Bank Predicts Africa’s Economy To Rebound In 2021

Sub- Saharan  Africa’s economy is on track to rebound sluggishly in 2021 with the advancement of structural reform, the World Bank has said.

The multilateral lender said this on Thursday in a report titled, ‘Charting the Road to Recovery.’

It said that Nigeria’s economic recovery will be weak while that of Western and Central Africa region is expected to experience an average growth of 1.4 per cent.

The World Bank Vice President for Western and Central Africa, Ousmane Diagana, said that charting the course to rapid recovery will also require massive investments across countries throughout the region, which governments must prepare for.

He said, “The recovery journey will be difficult, but without the advancement of structural reforms, robust growth post-pandemic will be even more challenging.”

With the region on the verge of a 3.3 per cent decline in its Gross Domestic Product in 2020,which marks its first recession in 20 years, the bank estimated that 40 million sub- Saharan Africans will be pushed into extreme poverty.

It predicted a rebound for Sub- Saharan Africa where the two major economies Nigeria and South Africa contracted by 6.1 per cent and 17 per cent respectively, during the second quarter of this year.

“Steady recovery in Sub-Saharan Africa after the COVID-19 pandemic requires policies that foster sustained growth and build resilience, but growth alone is not enough,” Albert Zeufack, World Bank Chief Economist for the Africa regions said.

He added, “African countries need to prioritize new policies and investments to create more better and inclusive jobs: that’s the key to sustained, inclusive and resilient growth.”

The lender expects South Africa’s recovery  to be weak, as Eastern and Southern Africa region will rebound by 2.7 per cent.

It said that several countries, such as Ethiopia, have started to take advantage of the opportunity to put policy reforms in place, .

The bank said countries were unlikely to escape economic contraction, but advancement of structural reforms, robust growth post-pandemic will be even more challenging.

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