Sub-Saharan Africa 2019 growth to rise to 2.9%: World Bank

FILE PHOTO: Locals walk towards the Mogalakwena platinum mine in Mokopane, Limpopo province, South Africa, September 20, 2017. Picture taken September 20, 2017. To match Insight SAFRICA-PLATINUM/. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko//File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Locals walk towards the Mogalakwena platinum mine in Mokopane, Limpopo province, South Africa. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko//File Photo

The World Bank says it expects the economic growth of Sub-Saharan Africa to pick up to 2.9% in 2019 in its latest report.

The Bank further expects the region’s economic growth to accelerate to 3.3% in 2020 on the back of an improvement in investor sentiment toward some of the large economies of the region improves.

The Bank also says that a recovery in oil production by large exporters and robust growth in non-resource-intensive economies underpinned by continued strong agricultural production and sustained public investment will contribute to this acceleration.

The Bank expects per capita GDP in the region to rise but adds that it will not be sufficient to significantly reduce poverty.

Growth in South Africa is expected to rise to 1.5% while in Angola it is expected to rise to 2.9% and Nigeria is anticipated to rise to 2.2% in 2020.

South Africa’s economy was set for a first quarter contraction after mining and manufacturing weakened, prompting the central bank to cut its 2019 growth forecast to 1%, well below the rate of at least 3% needed to bring down debt, budget deficits and joblessness.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was sworn in last month, promised to create jobs and tackle deep-rooted corruption that has strangled economic growth.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, recently announced a reduction in all government shareholding in the Joint Venture Oil Assets to a minimum of 40 percent in the 2019 fiscal year.

The move is an attempt to push up revenue to stabilise the economy still emerging from recession.

Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari, meanwhile, pledged to restructure the economy and also fight corruption.

Angola’s President João Lourenço, who succeeded José Eduardo dos Santos in 2017, is attempting to restart an economy hit hard by low oil prices.