Sub-Saharan Africa Sees Modest Economic Growth -IMF

Countries in sub-Saharan Africa that have invested in infrastructure are reaping the benefits, but more private investment is needed to boost growth -IMF.

Africa, South of the Sahara, has registered growth from 2.8 percent in 2017 to 3.4 percent in 2018, according to IMF’s latest economic health check of the region.

The growth picked up largely driven by improved policies in some countries, and a more supportive external environment, including stronger global growth and higher commodity prices.

Increasing private investment is critical for the region to achieve sustainable strong growth over the medium term, IMF has noted.

“Raising private investment requires reforms, which include a sound business environment, well-developed infrastructure, trade openness, and financial development. As these reforms take time, countries are pursuing other avenues to jump start private investment, such as public-private partnerships, creating special economic zones, and implementing mechanisms to target foreign direct investment,” IMF said in a Statement.

Despite substantial progress in revenue mobilization over the past two decades, sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest revenue-to-GDP ratio, with a median of 18 percent in 2016, 5 percentage points lower than other emerging and developing economies.

There is huge potential for boosting growth in the sub-Saharan region, and the current global environment provides the opportune time to push forward these reforms.