As the Sub-Saharan African economy struggles to recover from the 2020 recession induced by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the region now faces new economic growth challenges, compounded by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The World Bank’s latest Africa’s Pulse, a biannual analysis of the near-term regional macroeconomic outlook, estimates growth at 3.6 percent in 2022, down from 4 percent in 2021 as the region continues to deal with new COVID-19 variants, global inflation, supply disruptions and climate shocks. Adding to the region’s growth challenges are rising global commodity prices, which are increasing at a faster pace since the onset of the conflict between Russia and the Ukraine.
As top world exporters of food staples, Russia—the world’s largest exporter of fertilizers—and Ukraine account for a substantial share of wheat, corn and seed oil imports, all of which may be halted if the conflict persists. While Sub-Saharan economies are also likely to be impacted by tightening of global conditions and reduced foreign financial flows into the region, the analysis notes that the high fuel and food prices will translate into higher inflation across African countries, hurting poor and vulnerable citizens, especially those living in urban areas. One point of concern is the increased likelihood of civil strife as a result of food and energy-fueled inflation, particularly in this current environment of heightened political instability.
At this seminar, Cesar Calderon, Lead Economist, Office of the Chief Economist for Africa Region, shared the main findings of the report.
8am-9am, Friday, May 20, 2022 (Japan Standard Time)
Lead Economic, Office of the Chief Economist for Africa Region, World Bank
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