Africa will have robust 2013-15 growth – World Bank

Sub-Saharan Africa’s economic growth should accelerate to more than 5 percent over the next three years, far outpacing the global average, but the region must do more to convert this into reducing poverty, the World Bank said on Monday.

In its latest Africa’s Pulse analysis of prospects for the region, the bank saw increased investment, high commodity prices and a pick-up in the global economy driving this expected growth surge in the world’s poorest continent.

It said foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to sub-Saharan Africa were projected to increase to record levels each year over the next three years, reaching $54 billion by 2015.

This compared to $37.7 billion in 2012, a 5.5 percent increase in a year when FDI flows for developing countries fell on average by 6.6 percent, the bank added.

The Washington-based multilateral lender predicted sub-Saharan Africa’s growth would be 4.9, 5.1 and 5.2 percent for 2013, 2014 and 2015, respectively.

In 2012, the region’s growth was estimated at 4.7 percent.

“If properly harnessed to unleash their full potential, these trends hold the promise of more growth, much less poverty, and accelerating shared prosperity for African countries in the foreseeable future”, said Punam Chuhan-Pole, a lead economist in the World Bank’s Africa department.

Compared with Africa’s expected growth spurt, global GDP was projected to expand by 2.4 percent in 2013 and gradually strengthen to 3 and 3.3 percent in 2014 and 2015.

Originally published by BusinessDay Online on April 13, 2013

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