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Sub-Saharan Africa economic growth increase to 5.2% in 2014

10 April 2014, 21:22

Abuja - The World Bank has said the economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa had risen from 4.7 percent in 2013 to 5.2 percent in 2014.

This is contained in the "African Pulse Economic Report’’ released at a news briefing by the World Bank in Abuja.

According to the report, the increase is due to the rise in investment in natural resources and infrastructure as well as strong household spending.

The report stated that Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in the Sub-Saharan African region also grew by 16 percent to a near record of $43 billion in 2013.

“Capital flows in 2013 witnessed a rise to about 5.3 per cent of regional Gross Domestic Product,’’ it noted.

The report said that international tourist arrivals in the region grew by 5.2 percent with a record of $36 million in 2013 compared to $34 million recorded in 2012.

“This growth in tourism contributed to governments’ revenue, private incomes and jobs within the region and it also helped to support balance payments of many countries.’’

The report said that growth was notable both in resource-rich countries and non-resource rich countries, adding that inflation slowed to an annual rate of 6.3 percent in 2013.

It noted that due to depreciating currencies, some countries such as Ghana and Malawi experienced an uptick in inflation.

The report quoted the Vice President of the World Bank Group for Africa, Mukhtar Diop as saying, "high quality university programmes in Africa" could increase the region’s competitiveness, productivity and growth.

Diop, however, noted that poor infrastructure would continue to limit the region’s growth potential, adding that more spending on infrastructure was required to achieve a lasting transformation of their economies.

The report stated that export diversification had remained a tough challenge to many African countries, especially oil producers.

The report also quoted Francisco Ferreira, the Chief Economist, World Bank Africa Region, as saying "countries in the region have made substantial progress in diversifying their trading partners.’’

"Over the last decade, exports to emerging markets such as the BRICs have grown robustly primarily due to the prolonged boom in commodities demand.’’

Ferreira noted that in 2012, the region’s export to the BRICs, reached 145 billion dollars with China accounting for about 23 per cent of the total merchandise exports.

The report further noted that trade in services was untapped in the region.


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