East Africa to register highest growth in Africa

In Abidjan – East Africa, which best weathered the global economic crisis, is yet again projected to achieve the highest growth on the Continent at an average of more than 6 percent in 2010/2011, according to the African Development Bank (ADB).
Rwanda projects coffee exports to rise in this year. (File photo)
Rwanda projects coffee exports to rise in this year. (File photo)

In Abidjan – East Africa, which best weathered the global economic crisis, is yet again projected to achieve the highest growth on the Continent at an average of more than 6 percent in 2010/2011, according to the African Development Bank (ADB).

The Bank said in its 2010 edition of the African Economic Outlook (AEO) that was launched yesterday at the Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the ADB Group that average growth on the Continent is expected to rebound to 4.5 percent in 2010 and 5.2 percent in 2011 from 2.5 percent in 2009.

The AEO underscores that the recovery process across the continent will be uneven.  

“Southern Africa, which was hardest hit in 2009, will recover more slowly than other regions with an average growth of almost 4 percent in 2010/2011,” the report reads in part.

However, with 6 percent East Africa has the highest projection as both North and West Africa combined are expected to grow at around 5 percent and Central Africa at 4 percent during the same period.

“The good news is that the continent has proved resilient to the crisis. The bad news is that, despite rebounding growth next year, the downturn could make it more difficult for some African countries to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDGs) of halving the number of people living in poverty by 2015,” Henri-Bernard Solignac-Lecomte, Head of the Europe, Africa and Middle East Desk at the OECD Development Centre said in a press release.

The report also highlights uneven recovery across sectors such as mining and manufacturing that were particularly exposed to the fall of commodity prices and global trade in goods and services.

Other sectors, notably non-tourism services and agriculture, were more resilient and mitigated the effects of the downturn, the report says.

“In most African countries the agricultural sector benefited from good harvests due to favourable weather, although in some countries, bad harvests exacerbated the effect of the global crisis.”

In 2009, Africa’s exports slid by 2.5 percent and imports by about 8 percent.

The AEO finds that the global crisis brought a period of relatively high economic growth in Africa to a sudden end.  
Due to the crisis, Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth fell from an average of 6 percent in 2006- 2008 to 2.5 percent in 2009.

The 2010 AEO   also includes a special study on public resource mobilisation—or taxation— as a means for African governments to become less dependent on aid in the long run, to the benefit of recipients and donors.

Ends

 

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