Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy’s growth is expected to be 2.4%, driven by services, while South Africa – the most industrialized economy in Africa – was projected to grow by 4.6% on the back of better performance in services, industry and agriculture.
According to reports from the financial institution that Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy is expected to grow by 3.3% this year and 3.5% in 2022, buoyed by rising commodity prices, the lifting of some anti-coronavirus restrictions and a pick-up in global trade, a World Bank report said on Wednesday.
It said sub-Saharan growth would rise to 3.8% in 2023.
The World Bank said the economies of Angola, Nigeria and South Africa were expected to come out of recession this year.
Like elsewhere around the world, sub-Saharan Africa imposed restrictions on movement in the first quarter of last year to limit the spread of COVID-19, throttling trade and other key economic activities including tourism and transport.
The World Bank report said growth could turn out to be higher at 5.1% in 2022 and 5.4% a year later depending on how fast COVID-19 vaccinations were rolled out, while a slower inoculation rate would reduce growth projections.
“Slower vaccine delivery and coverage would impede the relaxation of COVID-19 disruptions in economic activity and project growth to slow down to 2.4% in 2023,” the bank’s Africa’s Pulse report said.
It said sub-Saharan Africa had witnessed a jump in public debt during the pandemic, with the region’s average general government gross debt projected at 71% of gross domestic product for 2021, up 30 percentage points since 2013.
“Increased funding on commercial terms, partially reflecting the recent surge in Eurobond issuances, has raised the exposure of sub-Saharan African countries to interest rate, exchange rate and rollover risks,” World Bank said.
The bank said other challenges to the region’s economic outlook included rising inflation and climate change. Despite sub-Saharan Africa being the smallest contributor to world carbon emissions, it was hardest-hit by climate change.