The African Development Bank Group President, Akinwumi Adesina, has said the bank expects Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to grow by 4 per cent this year, and 4.1 percent in 2020.
While addressing diplomats at a lunch organised recently in Abidjan, Adesina referred to the bank’s recent flagship publication, the African Economic outlook 2019, which noted that the recovery in commodity prices is driving domestic demand and infrastructure investment, while real Africa’s GDP continued to improve in 2018 to 4.1%.
He said, economic opportunities in Africa are generating considerable interest globally. For example, the agreement in March 2018 establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will create the largest free trade area7 in the world. The CFTA will provide an unprecedented framework with the capacity to increase trade by at least 100% in Africa.
“THE AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK IS AT THE CENTRE OF THE ACTIONS TAKEN TO ENSURE THE SUCCESS OF THE CONTINENTAL FREE-TRADE AREA. WE HAVE INVESTED OVER ONE BILLION DOLLARS TO SUPPORT THE FINANCING OF TRADE IN AFRICA.”
“WE NEED TO BREAK DOWN ALL BARRIERS THAT IMPEDE THE FREE MOVEMENT OF PEOPLE ACROSS THE CONTINENT, ESPECIALLY THAT OF WORKERS, BECAUSE THIS IS VITAL FOR PROMOTING INVESTMENT.”
AFDB has been contributing to the economic growth of various countries across Africa for a while, Nigeria included. In July last year, it partnered with African Export-Import bank (Afreximbank) to provide a $500,000 grant scheme through the AfDB’s African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) programme.
An over-view of the African Economic Outlook 2019
The 2019 African Economic Outlook (AEO) analyses macroeconomic developments and prospects in Africa. The analysis showed that Africa’s GDP growth is estimated at 3.5 per cent in 2018. Growth for 2019 and 2020 is projected at 4 and 4.1 per cent, respectively, thanks to factors such as mild recovery in commodity prices, improved macroeconomic stability.
However, the report stated that this growth performance is not sufficient to address the challenges of structural transformation stressing that a re-balancing of Africa’s imports from consumption to intermediate and capital goods is critical to help countries benefit from scale and scope economies, exploit knowledge transfers and promote structural transformation.
It also noted that deep reforms in public financial management are also required to improve revenue mobilization, and ease debt vulnerabilities.