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Sub-Saharan Africa: World Bank sees between 2.3% and 3.4% recovery for 2021

Thursday, 01 April 2021 15:48
Sub-Saharan Africa: World Bank sees between 2.3% and 3.4% recovery for 2021

(Ecofin Agency) - The sub-Saharan part of Africa is expected to experience an economic recovery of between 2.3% and 3.4% this year. The good news is featured in a statement issued yesterday March 31 by the World Bank.

The institution said this rebound should happen despite the overall recession of 2% in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Because of the rapid spread of the virus, countries in the region were forced to take stringent measures that ultimately affected all activity sectors.

In “The Future of Work in Africa: Emerging Trends in Digital Technology Adoption” report, the World Bank said the economic recovery in sub-Saharan Africa will be driven by economic factors, but also by health factors. These include the recovery of the agricultural sector, and government efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus.

According to Albert G. Zeufack, the World Bank's chief economist for Africa, African countries have made huge investments over the past year to keep their economies afloat and protect the lives and livelihoods of their people.

However, the recovery the World Bank expects will not be evenly observed across the region. While Kenya, Côte d'Ivoire, Botswana, and Guinea, for example, are expected to experience a strong recovery because they will benefit from a rebound in private consumption and investment, other countries will experience weaker growth.

Specifically, the institution says that economic growth in eastern and southern Africa is expected to be 2.6% in 2021, and 4.0% in 2022, after an overall recession of 3% in 2020, driven mainly by South Africa and Angola. For the West and Central African regions, the Bank forecasts growth of 2.1% in 2021 and 3.0% in 2022, after a 1.1% recession.

For optimal economic recovery, the institution says it is important to put in place ambitious reforms that support job creation, enhance equitable growth, protect the vulnerable, and contribute to environmental sustainability. These will be essential to support future efforts towards a stronger recovery across the African continent. This also implies policies to improve productivity and the competitiveness of economic sectors.

In this sense, sub-Saharan African countries could focus on digital inclusion in the workplace, but also exploit the African continental free trade area to deepen the integration of African countries into regional and global value chains.

Carine Sossoukpè (Intern)

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