World Bank scales up growth forecast for Africa but remains prudent

Friday, 08 October 2021 13:42
World Bank scales up growth forecast for Africa but remains prudent

(Togo First) - The World Bank has scaled up its growth forecast for sub-Saharan Africa and expects the region to come out of the Covid-induced recession.

“Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to emerge from the recession caused by the Covid-19 pandemic with an expected growth rate of 3.3% for 2021,” said the Bretton Woods institution in its latest semi-annual Africa's Pulse report, released on Wednesday, October 6.

The forecast is about 1 percentage point higher than last semester’s forecast - the World Bank, in April, expected SSA to grow at around 2.3% “given policies adopted by countries in the region and the international community.”

The Bank attributes the increase to high commodity prices and the easing of Anti-Covid measures and recovery in global trade. The dynamics, the Bretton Woods institution adds, should be sustained in 2022 and 2023, with the growth rate expected to reach about 4%, “continuing to lag the recovery in advanced economies and emerging markets, and reflecting subdued investment in SSA.”

However, the World Bank points out some weaknesses in the region, such as low vaccination rates and more lasting effects of Covid on SSA economies. 

More vaccines

To speed up economic recovery in Sub-Saharan Africa, the World Bank recommends greater access to Covid vaccines.

“Fair and broad access to effective and safe COVID 19 vaccines is key to saving lives and strengthening Africa’s economic recovery,” said Albert Zeufack, Chief Economist for Africa at the World Bank. He added: “Faster vaccine deployment would accelerate the region’s growth to 5.1 percent in 2022 and 5.4 percent in 2023- as more containment measures are lifted, boosting consumption and investment. 

Togolese authorities optimistic but prudent

In Togo, the government, like the World Bank, also scaled up its growth forecast for the economy.

From 1.8% in 2020 (due to Covid-19), Lomé expects a growth rate of 4.8%  this year. The country is one of the most vaccinated in the SSA, per habitant (right after Cape Verde).

While optimistic, Togolese authorities remain prudent, expecting real GDP to grow at 6.1% in 2022. They also concur with the World Bank that the global context is uncertain, relative to pressures sparked by Covid-19.

Ayi Renaud Dossavi

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