Sub-Saharan Africa’s Economy Grew 2.9% in 2023

According to a report released by the World Bank on Tuesday, Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy grew by 2.9% in 2023, a notable decrease from the 3.7% growth recorded in 2022. The report, titled “Global Economic Prospects,” attributes the slowdown in growth to weakening external demand and domestic policy tightening in response to persistent inflation.

The three leading economies in the region—Nigeria, South Africa, and Angola—experienced a slowdown in growth to an average of 1.8% in 2023, contributing to the overall deceleration. The post-pandemic recoveries were hindered by these economic challenges.

The report highlights that intense and protracted conflicts, particularly in Sudan, as well as recent violence flare-ups in Chad and Niger, have impeded growth in several countries. Additionally, lower metal prices have weighed on economies heavily reliant on metal exports, including Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Zambia.

Looking ahead, the World Bank projects that economic expansion in Sub-Saharan Africa will accelerate to 3.8% in 2024 and further rise to 4.1% in 2025. This anticipated growth is expected as inflationary pressures fade and financial conditions ease.

However, the report emphasises that despite the projected growth, per capita income increases will likely remain insufficient to make significant progress in reducing extreme poverty in the region. The outlook is subject to potential risks, including a rise in global or regional instability, a potential escalation of conflicts in the Middle East affecting global energy and food prices, a more substantial-than-expected global economic slowdown, or an increase in the frequency and intensity of adverse weather events.

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