The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday in Abidjan said Africa would witness about 5.5 per cent economic growth in 2014.
IMF’s Deputy Director, African Department, Mr Roger Nord stated this while presenting the 2014 Regional Economic Outlook report for Africa.
He said : “The expected growth represented about five per cent increase compared to 2013.”
“Growth in Africa remains strong, about 5.5 per cent growth is expected in 2014; this is about five per cent higher than the one record in 2013.”
“It is also good news that the growth in the region’s poorest countries will even be stronger with about seven per cent increase”, he said.
The IMF official said that the growth would be mainly propelled by domestic investment and increase in construction activities.
Nord said that although the situation signaled sustainable growth for the region, and there was risk of possible slowdown in emerging markets which would mean negative consequences.
“If the slowdown becomes very acute, resulting in significant declines in commodity prices, the effect will be negative on some countries in the region.”
“This will particularly affect exporters of mineral resources such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia”, he said.
Nord said that lack of jobs had continued to be a major challenge in the region saying, ” there need to be measures to enliven agriculture and small scale enterprises.’’
“The region also needs to promote financial inclusion by expanding access to financial services to boost entrepreneurship”, he said.