The World Bank’s biannual report on Africa’s economic performance, Africa’s Pulse, released in Washington, D.C. this week, finds that despite weaker than expected global growth and stable or declining commodity prices, African economies continue to expand.
The report finds that Africa’s Growth may surpass five per cent in financial year 2015-16, but Ebola, terrorism and other risks also threaten these economies.
World Bank Chief Economist for the Africa Region, Chico Ferreira:
“The good news in the Africa’s Pulse that’s coming out this fall, is that growth continues to be strong in Sub-Saharan Africa. Growth in 2014 is expected to come in in 4.6 percent. Of course there are downside risks that we need to be aware of. The most important one, that’s on everyone’s mind, is the risk of Ebola and contagion from Ebola in West Africa.
For the rest of the continent, Africa’s Pulse finds that significant public investment in infrastructure, increased agricultural production and expanding services in African retail, telecoms, transportation, and finance, are expected to continue to boost growth in the region, and bring jobs to Africa’s young workforce.
However, in a special study of Africa’s patterns of African economies, The Pulse finds that the region is largely bypassing industrialization as a major driver of growth and jobs.
Instead, the study finds that the extractive industries - in the natural resources sector, and a surging service industry are propelling Africa’s growth.
Lead author of the report, Punam Chuhan-Pole:
“Well, the growth of 4.5 percent has meant more jobs for people, but what it hasn’t meant is better paying jobs. What the focus needs to be moving forward; is having better jobs and better paying jobs for people.
The World Bank Group continued its strong commitment to Africa delivering $10.6 billion in new lending for 160 projects in 2014.