Overall economic growth
in Africa modestly recovered in 2017 rising to 3.1%, after experiencing its
lowest growth of 1.7% in 2016. Africa’s economy
expanded due to the slight recovery in commodity prices and improved domestic
conditions supported by improved macroeconomic management. Growth in private
consumption and increase in investment led the recovery in Africa’s growth
despite relatively low commodity prices, adverse weather conditions and fragile
global economic conditions affecting some countries. Africa is the second
fastest growing region after East and South Asia (5.9%), followed by
South-Eastern Europe (2.5%) and Latin American and Caribbean region (1%).
remained relatively strong across the majority of African countries, despite
the global economic slowdown experienced over the period since mid-2014. More
than 70% of African countries grew at an average growth rate above 3% in 2017.
About 25% of African countries grew at an average growth rate of 5% and above
recovery in some major economies (such as Angola, Morocco and Nigeria) and the
continued robust growth in other economies (such as Ethiopia, Cote d’Ivoire,
Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania) underpinned the continent’s growth in 2017.
Nevertheless, low growth performance in large economies, including Angola (1.9%),
Nigeria (0.9%) and South Africa (0.6%), muted the
continent’s growth recovery from its ebb in 2016.
In general, greater
resilience continues to be observed in 2017 among smaller and
non-commodity-dependent economies, as well as significant heterogeneity across
sub-regions and economic groupings. East Africa
continues to lead with an annual growth rate of 5.5% in 2017, followed by North
Africa at 4.9%, West Africa at 2.3%, Southern Africa at 1.2% and Central Africa
inflationary pressures easing in some countries in 2017, inflation remains
high, recording 13% in 2017 against 10% in 2016. The effect of the rising oil
prices, strengthening domestic demand and currency devaluations have pushed up
import costs and exacerbated inflationary pressures on the continent. However,
this will, to some extent, be offset by the tight monetary policies, increased
agricultural production in some of the countries. Similarly, the high exchange
rate volatility witnessed by a large number of African currencies in 2016
weakened and currencies became more stable in 2017.