Africa Remains Second Fastest Growing Region Globally with 41 Countries’ Growth Surge

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Africa is poised for an impressive economic surge, with 41 countries expected to experience stronger growth rates in 2024 compared to 2023. This optimistic forecast comes from the latest African Economic Outlook by the African Development Bank Group, unveiled at the Bank’s Annual Meetings in Nairobi on Thursday.

Describing Africa’s growth potential as “remarkable,” the report highlights the continent’s position as the second fastest-growing region globally, following developing Asia, a status it is projected to maintain through 2025.

Akinwumi Adesina’s Vision for Africa

African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina expressed pride in the positive growth projections, while also acknowledging the significant challenges the continent faces. He emphasized the importance of addressing governance, transparency, accountability, and the management of natural resources to ensure sustainable growth.

“Africa’s future is bright, but we need to make sure we tackle governance, transparency, accountability, and management of our natural capital. We need to make sure resources are used for the benefit of the people of this continent,” Adesina said. He also highlighted the critical issue of climate change and its impact on the continent’s resilience.

Investing in Africa’s youth is another key focus for Adesina. “We must make sure we are investing in our young people—in their skills, talents, entrepreneurship, and giving them tools. That is why I am excited about what we are doing with the Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks,” he added.

Economic Growth Projections by Region

The African Economic Outlook report predicts a rebound in Africa’s average growth, with projections of 3.7% in 2024 and 4.3% in 2025, surpassing the projected global average growth of 3.2%.

– East Africa: As the continent’s fastest-growing region, East Africa’s real GDP growth is expected to rise from an estimated 1.5% in 2023 to 4.9% in 2024, and further to 5.7% in 2025.

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– Central Africa: Growth is forecast to moderate slightly from 4.3% in 2023 to 4.1% in 2024, before improving strongly to 4.7% in 2025, driven by favorable metal prices in Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

– West Africa: The region’s growth is projected to accelerate from an estimated 3.6% in 2023 to 4.2% in 2024, stabilizing at 4.4% in 2025, reflecting stronger performances in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal.

– North Africa: Growth is expected to decline from an estimated 4.1% in 2023 to 3.6% in 2024, before rebounding to 4.2% in 2025. Except for Libya and Mauritania, growth forecasts for other countries in the region have been revised downward.

– Southern Africa: Growth in this region is projected to pick up slightly from an estimated 1.6% in 2023 to 2.2% in 2024, firming up to 2.7% in 2025. South Africa’s significant influence on the region’s overall growth offsets the combined effect of downward revisions in Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Challenges Ahead

Despite the positive growth outlook, the report warns that Africa is off track to meet almost all of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Without corrective actions, including reversing the increasing poverty trend, the continent could be home to nearly 87% of the world’s extreme poor by 2030.

The African Development Bank’s report underscores the need for comprehensive efforts to address these challenges, ensuring that the continent’s growth translates into tangible benefits for its people and aligns with global sustainability targets.

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