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Africa Emerges as the Second Fastest Growing Region with 41 Countries Surging Ahead

Africa Emerges as the Second Fastest Growing Region with 41 Countries Surging Ahead

The report unveiled at the Bank’s Annual Meetings on Thursday in Nairobi, described Africa’s growth potential as ‘remarkable’. The continent will retain its 2023 ranking as the second fastest-growing region after developing Asia in 2024 and 2025.

African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina acknowledged the Bank’s pride in the growth projections for many African countries as reflected in the report. However, he noted that the Bank is also aware of the significant challenges facing the continent.

“Africa’s future is bright, but 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… The kind of resilience we are talking about cannot happen unless we deal with the issue of climate change.”

“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.

According to the African Economic Outlook, the rebound in Africa’s average growth includes a rise to 3.7% in 2024 and 4.3% in 2025, exceeding the projected global average of 3.2%.

East Africa, the continent’s fastest-growing region, will see real GDP growth rising from an estimated 1.5% in 2023 to 4.9% in 2024 and 5.7% in 2025.

Growth in Central Africa is forecast to moderate from 4.3% in 2023 to 4.1% in 2024 before improving strongly to 4.7% in 2025. The upgraded forecast is due to expectations of stronger growth in Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo as a result of favourable metal prices.

Growth in West Africa is projected to accelerate, increasing from an estimated 3.6% in 2023 to 4.2% in 2024, and stabilizing at 4.4% the following year. This upgraded forecast reflects stronger growth in the region’s major economies: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal.

In North Africa, growth is projected to decline from an estimated 4.1% in 2023 to 3.6% in 2024 and 4.2% in 2025. Except for Libya and Mauritania, growth has been revised downward for all other countries in the region.

Growth in Southern Africa is projected to pick up slightly from an estimated 1.6% in 2023 to 2.2% in 2024 and firm up to 2.7% in 2025. Due to South Africa’s larger weight in the region, the upgraded growth forecast offset the combined effect of downward revisions in Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

However, the report warns that Africa is off track to meet almost all of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. It argues that unless corrective action is taken, including reversing the steepening poverty curve, Africa will be home to nearly 87% of the world’s extreme poor by 2030.

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