children beggars

Bad news for Africa: Economy set to grow only by 1.6% in 2016

No relief in sight for African populations, mostly the poor, as the continent’s economy is expected to grow only by a mere 1.6% in 2016, after reaching 3% in 2015.

The World Bank, which published these findings in Africa’ Pulse 2016 on Thursday in Washington, said this was the lowest level in over two decades.

The bad news has come to add salt to the injury, as the continent is still mourning the fall from grace of one of its largest economies, Nigeria, which is said to be sliding further into recession.

And South Africa, the other economic giant, is still not fully fit after sustaining a recession injury, but is said to be limping like a wounded lion on its way to recovery.

Both countries are commodities’ leading exporters, and their fall is set to have deeply affected the continent’s economic performance.

The World Bank said most of the continent’s largest economies were facing challenges such as low commodity prices, tight financial conditions and domestic policy uncertainties, among others.

“These countries should start adapting to less favorable financial conditions and cope with uncertainty over their economic policies,” the World Bank said.

“Economic activity has been notably weak across oil exporters,” the 96-page Africa’s Pulse said, adding that nevertheless economic growth in about a quarter of the region’s countries was showing signs of resilience.

However, there could be light at the end of the tunnel for Sub-Saharan Africa from next year, as Africa’s Pulse predicts that the region’s economy could start to recover, albeit modestly, to reach 2.9% in 2017, and going a little up to 3.6% in 2018.

Photo: DRC poor children beg for food. credit: BBC

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