The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says growth in the Sub-Saharan region will remain resilient despite challenges affecting economies in this part of Africa.
The IMF’s World Economic Outlook survey published in April titled ‘Uneven Growth: Short and Long Term Factors noted that Sub-Saharan African growth will remain solid notwithstanding a significant adverse shock from the decline in oil prices.
“Oil exporters will be faced with a formidable challenge to cope with the shock,” observed the report.
“For the rest of the region, lower oil prices represent a favorable development, which will be offset in some cases, however, by lower prices for other commodity exports,” it added.
Frontier economies in this region include Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, C├┤te d’Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
When presenting his budget speech in February, Finance minister Kenneth Matambo highlighted that real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region averaged 4.9 percent in 2013, slightly higher than 4.8 percent in the previous year.
He said the moderate growth performance of the region is due to the decline in global commodity prices and slow global economic recovery. However, the region is expected to have registered a higher growth rate of 5.2 percent in 2014.
“Despite the relatively higher growth rate that was projected for 2014, the SADC region continues to face several development challenges such as youth unemployment and high incidence of poverty,” Matambo said.
“To address these challenges, in the coming years the region will need to grow faster than the 5.2 percent projected for 2015, which could be achieved through regional integration. In this regard, the revised SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Plan for the period 2015-2020 has identified industrial development and market integration as one of the key priorities to drive the regional integration agenda.”