Sub-Saharan Africa Recovery Amid Elevated Uncertainty

Sep 16, 2019 | IMF

The economic recovery in sub-Saharan Africa continues, but there is duality in growth performance and prospects within the region. Aggregate growth is set to pick up from 3 percent in 2018 to 3.5 percent in  2019 and stabilize at slightly below 4 percent over the medium term—or about 5 percent, excluding the  two major economies, Nigeria and South Africa. These aggregate numbers mask considerable duality in growth prospects within the region. About half of the region’s countries, mostly non-resource-intensive, are expected to grow at 5 percent or more, and see a faster rise in income per capita than the rest of the world on average over the medium term. However, the remaining countries, comprising mostly resource-intensive countries are expected to fall behind. And as these countries—including Nigeria and South Africa—are home to more than two-thirds of the region’s total population, it is important for the policy uncertainties that are holding back growth to be addressed for the lion’s share of sub-Saharan Africans to enjoy improved standards of living.