ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) --
Projecting Africa’s aggregate growth and domestic
product (GDP) to grow at 3.5 percent in 2018, and 3.7 percent in
2019, a new UN report reiterates that East Africa remains
fastest-growing sub-region on the continent.
The World Economic
Situation and Prospects (WESP) report launched on Tuesday at the
UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in Addis Ababa,
Ethiopia, states that Africa is expected to see stronger growth
in 2018 and 2019.
It calls for renewed
efforts to decrease over-reliance on commodity revenues through
economic diversification and structural transformation.
With GDP growth of
5.3 percent in 2017, the East African sub-region is expected to
grow by about 6 percent in 2018 and 2019, says the report.
Briefing the press
on the report, Khaled Hussein, Chief of Forecasting Section
Macroeconomic Policy Division of the UNECA, said the growth in
the sub-region is facilitated by large infrastructure
investments and the expansion of domestic markets.
North Africa is
projected to stabilize at 4.1 percent in 2018 and 2019, after
reaching 4.8 percent in 2017, as a result of firmer commodity
prices, further improvement in the security situation and
continuing econo-mic recovery in Europe.
West Africa will
continue its growth recovery, from 2.4 percent in 2017 to 3.3
percent in 2018, as oil prices rise and oil production gradually
increases in Nigeria, easing fiscal and foreign exchange
Several other west
African countries, including Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Senegal,
are expected to continue a path of strong growth supported by
robust spending on infra-structure, higher investor confidence
and improvements in the business climate.
The report projects
growth in South Africa to improve but remain modest.
Following the growth
of 1.2 percent in 2017, GDP in the Southern African sub-region
is projected to expand by 2.3 percent in 2018 and 2.5 percent in
In South Africa, net
exports will rebound with the moderate recovery in the
agriculture and mining sectors. Growth will, however, remain
relatively subdued amid heightened political uncertainty.
Buoyed by higher oil
prices, growth in Central Africa is estimated to rebound from
0.7 percent in 2017 to 2.1 percent in 2018. Insecurity and
relatively low commodity prices weigh on prospects for the area.
The report notes
that several central banks in Africa decreased policy rates in
2017 amid moderately easing inflationary pressures.
As the impacts of
large currency depreciations subside, inflation is projected to
decrease in 2018-2019. However, inflation in many African
countries remains high relative to the rest of the world.
Investments in human
capital as well as efforts to strengthen governance and
institutions are needed. Importantly, acute malnutrition in
conflict-affected areas must be urgently addres-sed, emphasizes