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African Development Bank reports decline in economic growth, foresees recovery

Africa’s economic growth witnessed a decline to 3.2% last year from 4.1% in 2022, as reported by the African Development Bank (AfDB) on Friday. Despite this setback, the bank projected higher growth rates this year for all regions except central Africa.

According to the AfDB, factors such as political instability and China’s economic slowdown, compounded by the shocks of COVID-19 and Russia’s war in Ukraine, have contributed to the economic challenges across the continent.

“The shocks buffeting African economies since 2020 have damaged growth, with long-term implications,” the bank stated in a report, emphasizing the multifaceted nature of the challenges faced by the region.

Despite the overall decline, the AfDB highlighted positive growth trends in 15 African countries, including Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mauritius, and Rwanda, which posted economic growth rates exceeding 5% last year.


Looking ahead, the bank forecasted faster growth rates for all regions except central Africa in 2024. However, southern Africa is expected to remain the laggard with a growth rate of 2.2%, compared to 5.7% in east Africa.

Highlighting the economic challenges in South Africa, the AfDB noted, “Southern Africa’s sluggish performance reflects the continued economic stagnation in South Africa,” projecting a modest growth of 1.1% in 2024, up from 0.8% last year.

The bank expressed concern over South Africa’s economic situation, emphasizing its impact on unemployment, poverty, and inequality, hindering the country’s progress since the end of White minority rule.

Nigeria, West Africa’s largest economy, is anticipated to grow by 2.9% in 2024, with a sharp devaluation of the currency contributing to inflation and a cost of living crisis.


In Egypt, high inflation and foreign exchange shortages are projected to lower growth to 3.7% this year, compared to 4% in 2023.

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