During a press briefing on the release of the April 2019 ‘Africa Pulse’ report in Accra, Kwabena Gyan Kwakye, Country Economist at the World Bank Office in Accra said, “So we are projecting 7.6 per cent for 2019, it’s a little above government’s projection of 7.2 per cent. So basically we have oil production as the main driver, mining also, because in 2018 mining picked up and we expect that it will continue to do so in 2019, of course non oil production.”
‘Africa’s Pulse’ is the World Bank’s bi-annual analysis of the state of African economies.
Countries like Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Cote d’Ivoire are powering Africa’s growth above 6 per cent, the report stated.
Solid economic growth was recorded in 2018 in Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, and several economies in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) the report said. Ghana’s growth was largely due to momentum in the expansion of manufacturing and services, it added.
On the demand side, the report indicated that, PMI readings softened in the first quarter of 2019 across several countries including Ghana, pointing to a slowdown in the pace of expansion of private sector activity.
However, the three largest economies on the continent, Angola, Nigeria and South Africa continue to have sluggish growth for the World Bank’s growth projections.
However, overall, the continent’s economic growth has been lower than the population growth in four consecutive years.
”This slower than expected growth comes from both global and domestic factors. Globally, there are two very important factors that are driving our growth projections and estimates down. First is growing protections that have led to growing protectionism in some of Africa’s largest trading publics. The second important factor is that, although commodity prices have recover, they remain uncertain and volatile and therefore having a severe negative impact on African economies,” Albert Zeufack, World Bank Chief Economist for Africa said.
The report also indicated growing fragility is a major cause of stagnating development in Africa. It explained that fragile situations include countries and territories where policies and institutions are weak and not functioning well enough to secure peace and stability and deliver basic services such as security, health, and education.
To reduce fragility in Africa, the report suggested that countries should embrace digital transformation, as it will foster economic growth and reduce poverty.
By Asabea Akonor
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