Editor’s Note: January 18, 2019
How much growth does Africa need?
Africa’s GDP is expected to expand by 4% this year, up from 3.5% in 2018, according to the African Development Bank’’s annual African Economic Outlook. This will accelerate to 4.1% in 2020.
It’s good news, but caution is advised.
The numbers are still well off the more than 5% average the continent saw in the decade preceding the 2015 commodities lump, and insufficient to drive poverty reduction and job creationaccording to the report.
This should come as no surprise. It’s been clear for years that GDP growth on the continent is not translating into economic development, due to a lack of structural reform.
This disconnect is a serious problem.
According to the 2018 Ibrahim Index of African Governance economic opportunities for African citizens have improved by just 0.2% since 2008 despite a 40% expansion in the continent’s GDP. Job creation expanded by 1.8% a year between 2000 – 2014 according to the AfDB’s outlook, below 3% annual growth in the labour force.
It’s worrying that policymakers are dragging their feet on structural reform. The problem is going nowhere, and the need for action is intensifying against the backdrop of rising risks from trade tensions and debt vulnerability.
Africa needs better growth, not just more of it.
From The Continent
The African Union has called for the final results of Democratic Republic of Congo’s disputed presidential election to be suspended due to “serious doubts” about their accuracy. The runner up in the vote, opposition leader Martin Fayulu, is challenging the result in court, which saw rival candidate Felix Tshisekedi declared the winner. More: Al Jazeera
A journalist linked to high profile anti-corruption investigations into Ghana’s football association has been shot and killed in the capital Accra. There is speculation that Ahmed Hussein-Suale was targeted due to his work, which has helped to expose high level corruption within the organization. More: Bloomberg
The Daily Stat
The ten-year high Zimbabwe’s inflation hit in December, part of the country’s worst economic crisis in a decade. More: Reuters
The Global Perspective
Qatar has donated 68 armored vehicles to Somalia to aid its battle against Islamist militant group Al-Shabab, which has claimed responsibility for this week’s attack in Kenya. The move is seen as a bid for influence amid wider geopolitical competition in the Horn of Africa. More: Reuters
Abu Dhabi’s national energy company, Taqa, has said it is looking to expand its footprint in North and sub-Saharan Africa. The firm will focus on opportunities in power and water generation. More: The National