IMF: Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy to grow by 3.4% in 2021

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Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy is expected to increase by 3.4 percent in 2021, recovering from 1.9 percent contraction witnessed in 2020, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Thursday.

According to the latest report titled “Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa,” the region’s growth will be supported by improved exports and commodity prices, along with a recovery in both private consumption and investment.

The findings show that per capita output in the region is not expected to return to 2019 levels until after 2022 and in many countries, per capita incomes will not return to pre-crisis levels before 2025.

Abebe Aemro Selassie, director of the IMF’s African Department, said that the region is continuing to grapple with unprecedented health and economic crisis.

“Since our last assessment of the regional economic outlook in October 2020, the region has confronted a second pandemic wave, which outpaced the scale and speed of the first. And many countries continue to face or are bracing for further waves, particularly as access to vaccines remains scant,” Selassie added.

He observed that many Sub-Saharan African countries are struggling to vaccinate essential frontline workers