Africa's average GDP growth projected to tick higher in 2020

By ANA Reporter Time of article published Jan 16, 2020

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CAPE TOWN  - Gross domestic product growth in Africa is projected to average 3.2 percent this year, accelerating slightly from 2.9 percent in 2019, a United Nations report due to be released next week will show.

The 2020 World Economic Situation Prospects Report, to be launched regionally in Johannesburg next Wednesday, however shows that GDP per capita for the continent as a whole grew by only by half a percent annually in the past decade.

The report will show the global economy suffered its lowest growth in a decade, slipping to 2.3 percent last year, as trade disputes impacted economic activity, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) said in an invitation to next week's launch.

The world could however see a slight uptick in growth in 2020, if risks are kept at bay.

South Africa's economic growth is estimated at 0.5 percent for 2019, well below potential. The outlook remains bleak as the economy continues to be negatively affected by policy uncertainty, weak business sentiment and limited fiscal policy space.

"As Africa’s growth continues to be closely aligned with commodity price cycles, a fundamental diversification of the productive structure is necessary," UNIC said.

The report says the African Continental Free Trade Area is a step in the right direction to promote regional trade and investment integration, the diversification of exports and higher-paying jobs.

Weather-related shocks will likely have adverse effects on agricultural output in Africa, with dire economic and social consequences, while political conflicts, social instability and security concerns could affect the short-term outlook in many countries.

The report will be launched as the 50th annual World Economic Forum takes place in Davos next week, focusing on how to address the world’s greatest challenges including societal divisions created by income inequality and political polarisation, as well as the global climate crisis.

- African News Agency (ANA) 

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