The African bank identifies job creation, especially for young people, as a big challenge facing the sub-region.
The African Bank made this prediction in its flagship publication, African EconomicOutlook, with five regional reports released on Tuesday, March 13, 2018, in Tunis (North Africa), Abidjan (West and Central Africa), Nairobi (Eastern Africa) and Pretoria (Southern Africa).
Celestin Monga, Chief Economist and Vice President of the African Development Bank's Economic Governance and Knowledge Management said: "By offering regional approaches for the first time, we want to leverage the Bank's expertise and give more depth of analysis and relevance to this publication.”
According to the bank, following the recovery experienced in Nigeria and other West African countries in 2017, growth in the GDP is expected to rise to 3.8 per cent in 2018 and move up to 3.9 per cent in 2019.
The AfDB stated, “After several good years, economic growth in West Africa stagnated at 0.5 per cent in 2016. The decline in the price of raw materials and the unimpressive performance of Nigeria, which alone accounts for about 70 per cent of the sub region’s GDP, were some of the key factors identified as responsible for stagnation.
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“Economic growth in West Africa rebounded to 2.5 per cent in 2017 and is projected to rise to 3.8 per cent in 2018 and 3.9 per cent in 2019. Household consumption and the relative price recovery of certain materials are expected to contribute to this performance.”
Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, Deputy Director General of the African Development Bank for West Africa, identified job creation, especially for young people as the big challenge for the sub-region.
“The 2018 Regional Economic Outlook for West Africa presents a comprehensive analysis of the economy and the labor market of 15 countries, focusing on macroeconomic stability, employment and poverty of the population living in West Africa. Let us not forget that some of the countries in this sub-region are facing enormous security challenges,” she said.
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According to the report, growth in North Africa is expected to reach 5 percent and 4.6 percent respectively in 2018 and 2019 as the outlook remains positive for 2018 and 2019, with growth expected to continue, reaching 5.9 percent in 2018 and 6.2 percent in 2019. Real GDP growth in Southern Africa is expected to improve to 2% in 2018 and 2.4% in 2019 while Central Africa is expected to reach 2.4 percent in 2018 and 3 percent in the following year.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had projected a pick upto 2.1 percent growth in 2018 for Nigerian economy and 3.3 percent in 2018 and 3.5 percent in 2019 for Sub Sahara Africa.
IMF in its Article IV consultation also acknowledged that Nigerian economy is prone to external shock due to a high reliance on oil and gas sector.