East Africa maintained its lead as the continent’s fastest growing region, with average growth estimated at 5.0% in 2019, according to the African Development Bank Research dubbed “Economic Outlook 2020”.
This was followed by North Africa with 4.1% Gross Domestic Product in the year under review.
West Africa’s growth which was 3.7%, from 3.4% in 2018 was 3rd. Ghana actually was tipped as the fastest growing economy in West Africa and second in Sub Saharan Africa with 7% growth.
The Central Africa including Gabon, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea is estimated to have grown at 3.2% in 2019, from 2.7% the year before.
Southern Africa’s growth slowed from 1.2% to 0.7%, primarily due to challenges in the region’s biggest economy, South Africa and was last on the African continent.
According to the report, Growth’s fundamentals have improved, as its drivers are gradually shifting toward investments and net exports, and away from private consumption.
In 2019, for the first time in a decade, investment expenditure accounted for a larger share (more than half) of GDP growth dynamics than consumption.
Net exports were also a strong contributor, especially among commodity exporters, as oil prices recovered.
Economic growth in Africa is estimated at 3.4% for 2019, about the same as in 2018.
Although stable, this rate is below the decadal average of 5% growth for the region.
The slower than expected growth is partly due to the moderate expansion of the continent’s big five—Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, and South Africa, which jointly grew at an average rateof 3.1 percent, compared with the average of 4.0 percent for the rest of the continent.
Growth is forecast to pick up to 3.9 percent in 2020 and 4.1 percent in 2021.
Since 2011, and particularly following the end of the commodity price super cycle in 2014, the divergence between gross savings and total investment has been widening for Africa, the report explained.
Also, non-resource-intensive countries have driven the widening gap in the continent’s average and thus the growing current account deficits.