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Office of the Chief Economist, Africa Region

Africa’s Pulse is a bi-annual publication of the Office of the Chief Economist in the World Bank Africa Region. It analyzes the short term economic prospects for the continent and current development challenges, as well as a special development topic.

Latest Reports

Africa Pulse April 2024

Tackling Inequality is Necessary for Growth and Poverty Reduction

April 2024, No. 29

The report projects that growth will accelerate from a low of 2.6% in 2023 to 3.4 % in 2024. However, the recovery remains fragile due to uncertain global economic conditions, growing debt service payments, frequent climate-related disasters, and escalating conflict and violence. 


Delivering Growth to People through Better Jobs

October 2023, No. 28

Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to slow to 2.5 percent in 2023 from 3.6 percent in 2022. It is projected to increase to 3.7 percent in 2024 and 4.1 percent in 2025. However, in per capita terms, the region is projected to slightly contract over 2015-2025. The region faces many challenges, including a "lost decade" of sluggish growth, persistently low per capita income, mounting fiscal pressures exacerbated by high debt burdens, and an urgent need for job creation. Tackling these multifaceted issues requires comprehensive reforms to promote economic prosperity, reduce poverty, and create sustainable employment opportunities in the region. This will require an ecosystem that facilitates firm entry, stability, growth, and skill development that matches business demand.


Leveraging Resource Wealth During the Low Carbon Transition

April 2023, No. 27

Economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa slowed to 3.6 percent in 2022, from 4.1 percent in 2021 but may be bottoming out. Weak investment growth and macroeconomic instability are weighing on economic activity. Inflation remains persistently high and above target despite early and sizable interest rate increase. Amid unfavorable global financial conditions and high levels of debt, African policymakers must bank on their domestic policy space to restore macroeconomic stability, deepen structural reforms to foster inclusive growth, and implement policies that harness the region's resource wealth during the low carbon transmission. This natural wealth holds significant untapped economic potential to address fiscal challenges and drive economic transformation. The low carbon transition is irreversible and will be intensive in the minerals required for the clean energy transition, many of which are abundant across Africa.


Food System Opportunities in a Turbulent Time

October 2022, No. 26

African economies are facing a series of challenges to their post-pandemic recovery. Economic activity in the region is slowing to 3.3 percent amid global headwinds, including weak global growth and tightening global financial conditions. Elevated inflation rates and resulting policy tightening, as well as the rising risk of debt distress, are also impacting economic activity. While food insecurity in Sub-Saharan Africa was increasing before the onset of Covid-19, the pandemic and the food and energy crisis have contributed to the recent steep increase in food insecurity and malnutrition. Climate shocks, low productivity in agriculture, lack of infrastructure also contribute to rising food insecurity in the region. The economic fallout from the multiple crises affecting the region has lowered household incomes, increased poverty, widen inequality and heightened food insecurity. This report discusses short-term measures combined with medium- to long-term policy actions that can strengthen African countries' capacity to build resilience and seize opportunities to unlock productivity-enhancing growth while protecting the poor and vulnerable.