Friday, 23 May 2014

African Economic Outlook 2014 Report Predicts 7.2 % Economic Growth for Nigeria, Others

The African Economic Outlook 2014 has estimated that economies in Nigeria and other West African countries would grow at an average of 7.2 per cent  and 7.1 per cent in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
The AEO 2014, which was launched Monday at the 2014 Annual Meetings of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB)  in Kigali, Rwanda,  is a joint effort of the AfDB, the OECD Development Centre and the United Nations Development Programme .

According to the report, economic growth varies widely across the continent reflecting differences in stages  of development, availability of natural resources, weather conditions, as well as political and social stability.
The report predicted that West Africa would  continue its rapid growth. It stated that “after some moderation in 2013,  growth is likely to accelerate to above 7 per cent in 2014 and 2015” with widespread growth with “most countries achieving growth of 6 per cent  or more.”
Specifically, the report pointed out that  growth in Nigeria was mainly driven by non-oil sectors, such as agriculture, trade, information and  communications technology (ICT) and other services. “The oil sector, which accounts for 37 per cent  of GDP and about a fifth of government revenues, is currently a drag on growth and suffers from theft and pipeline vandalism and weak investment,” it stated.

It added that Ghana’s growth  would remain robust, boosted by oil and gas production and increased private and public investment.
While forecasting that Côte d’Ivoire is also expected to remain on a high growth path, “with improved political stability”,  it said    public and private investments  have become important drivers of growth”. It  added,  “growth is supported by favourable developments in agriculture, manufacturing and services.”
Also, the report noted that Sierra Leone, which  is currently “the fastest growing country in the region” would contribute to the overall growth in the sub-region. It explained that growth in the country was  mainly driven by iron and ore exports.
At the same time,  the Malian economy,  which rebounded in 2013 after the backlash in 2012 caused by the political and security crisis, would improve further in 2014 and 2015.
The continent’s growth is projected to accelerate to 4.8 per cent in 2014  and 5 to 6 per cent in 2015, levels that have not been seen since the 2009 global economic crisis.
The report stated that Africa’s economic growth was more broad-based , driven by domestic demand, infrastructure and increased continental trade in manufactured goods.
Commenting on the report, the AfDB President, Donald Kaberuka, said truly Africa is rising,  but “you cannot eat economic growth”, arguing that Africa needs inclusive growth to reduce inequality. According to him, many African countries are having difficulties despite the economic growth figures that have been recorded.
He pointed out that apart from the services sector that is growing, the agriculture sector and the industrial sector  have been  declining.
Also commenting, the AfDB Chief Economist and Vice President, Mthuli Ncube, said: “In order to sustain the economic growth and ensure that it creates opportunities for all, African countries should continue to rebuild shock absorbers and exercise prudent macro management. Any slackening on macro management will undermine future economic growth.”
“In the medium to long-term, the opportunity for participating in global value chains should be viewed as part of the strategy for achieving strong, sustained and inclusive growth,” he added. (Source - ThisDay)

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