Despite setbacks in the global economy and continuing market instability stemming from the Euro zone crisis and the occurrence of economic slow down in some of the largest developing countries, such as China and Japan, Sub-Saharan Africa, including Ghana, has been displaying a stable and robust economy.
According to the latest World Bank ‘Africa’s Pulse’, Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to grow at 4.8% in 2012, broadly changed from the 4.9% growth rate in 2011.
The Breton institution was quick to add that excluding South Africa, the continent’s largest economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is predicted to rise to 6%.
African exports rebounded, notably in the first quarter of 2012, growing at an annualized pace of 32%, up from the 11% pace recorded in the last quarter of 2011.
The World Bank Chief Economist and Lead Economist, Mr. Shanta Devarajan and Ms Punam Chuhan-Pole respectively told African journalists via teleconference that African countries have not been immune to the recent bout of market volatility which confronted Europe zone crisis, as well as the growth slowdown which occurs in some of the largest developing economies, particularly China, which remains an important market for Africa’s mineral exporters.
They noted that consistently high commodity prices and strong export growth in those countries which have made mineral discoveries in recent years, have fueled economic activity and are expected to underpin Africa’s economic growth for the rest of 2012.
“A third of African countries will grow at or above 6 percent, with some of the fastest ones buoyed by new mineral exports such as iron ore in Sierra Leone and uranium and oil in Niger, and by factors such as the return to peace in Cote d’Ivoire, as well as strong growth in countries such as Ethiopia”, the World Bank Vice-President for Africa, Makhtar Diop stated.
He continued: “An important indicator of how Africa is on the move is that investor interest in the region remains strong, with $31 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows expected this year, despite difficult global conditions”.
However, with the global economy still in fragile condition, ‘Africa’s Pulse’ warned that “Africa’s strong growth rates could yet be vulnerable to deteriorating market conditions in the Europe zone.”
In addition, recent spikes in food and grain prices are a cause for concern. An unprecedented hot and dry summer in the United States, Russia, and Eastern Europe led to reduced yields on both maize and wheat production worldwide.
Source: All Africa