Africa’s economic growth remained sluggish due to external global influences, coupled with local policies according to the World Bank’s Africa’s Pulse 2019 report.
Renewed intensification of trade tensions in the global economy has not left the continent untouched and the report denotes that this has affected its growth.
“Africa’s economies are not immune to what is happening in the rest of the world, and this is reflected in the subdued growth rates across the region,” said Albert Zeufack, Chief Economist for Africa at the World Bank. “At the same time, the evidence clearly links poor governance to poor growth performance, so efficient and transparent institutions should be on the priority list for African policymakers and citizens.”
“Regional growth is projected to rise to 2.6 per cent in 2019 (0.2 percentage point lower than the April forecast) from 2.5 per cent in 2018,” the report said.
“On the demand side, growth of real gross domestic product weakened due to slower gross fixed capital formation and net exports, thus reflecting weaker investor sentiment against the backdrop of global policy uncertainty,” it continued.
Manufacturing and mining industries had a modest expansion. The service sector lost some momentum and agricultural sector growth remained restrained due to drought, the report observed.
According to the report slowed growth in Nigeria, South Africa and Angola has pulled down the numbers for Africa, although some of the regions are expected to see some significant numbers. In Kenya, weaker exports are expected to its tame economic growth.
Women to the Rescue
The report said that women are still underrepresented in the economic chain and their employment could boost the economic fortunes of the continent.
The World Bank reports that Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region in the world that can boast that women are more likely to be entrepreneurs than men, and African women contribute to a large share of agricultural labour across the continent.
“Empowering women will help boost growth. African policymakers face an important choice: business as usual or deliberate steps toward a more inclusive economy,” said Hafez Ghanem, World Bank Vice President for Africa. “After several years of slower-than-expected growth, closing the opportunity gap for women by removing barriers to their economic participation is the best way forward.”
However, it’s not only Africa that is feeling the pinch in the shifting global trade wars. The World Bank predicts that Middle-East and North Africa, Latin America and Caribbean, and South Asia regions will receive a worse revision than Africa, in their economic growth numbers.
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