By Asmau Ahmad
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday said Sub-Saharan Africa’s economic growth would shrink for a second year in a row in 2023 before rebounding in 2024.
The IMF said in its World Economic Outlook report that growth in the region was expected to fall to 3.3 per cent this year from 4 per cent in 2022, before rebounding to 4 per cent in 2024.
According to the monetary fund, the figure is slightly lower than what the IMF predicted in July when it said Sub-Saharan Africa would grow 3.5 per cent in 2023 and 4.1 per cent in 2024.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, after COVID-19 had already dealt the global economy a heavy blow as food, fuel and fertiliser prices are soaring in Africa.
Weakening currencies, higher debt service costs and restricted access to capital markets also added to debt pressures.
The 2023 growth forecast for oil producer Angola was slashed from an April projection of 3.5 per cent to 1.3 per cent, while Nigeria’s was trimmed from 3.2 per cent to 2.9 per cent.
South Africa, whose economy is hobbled by record power cuts, will grow just 0.9 per cent this year.
Kenya’s growth will accelerate by 5 per cent this year, the IMF said, up from 4.8 per cent in 2022, despite its government cutting budgets amid soaring debt costs.
Tanzania and Senegal are also set to see higher growth this year.
Annual inflation across the region, which has seen violent protests against the cost of living in countries including Ghana and Kenya, is expected to be 16.2 per cent at the end of this year.