World Bank Says Africa GDP Rebound Inadequate to Tackle Poverty

LAGOS (Capital Markets in Africa) – The rebound in sub-Saharan Africa’s economic growth is insufficient to meaningfully reduce poverty, the World Bank said.

Gross domestic product in the region will probably expand by 2.4 percent in 2017, the Washington-based lender said in an emailed copy of its Africa Pulse report on Wednesday. While that’s down from the World Bank’s April forecast of 2.6 percent, it’s an improvement on the two-decade low growth rate of 1.3 percent last year.

World Bank data from 2013 shows that more than 40 percent of the sub-Saharan African population lived at or below the international poverty line of $1.90 a day. Nigeria and South Africa, which together account for about half of the region’s GDP, emerged from contraction in the second quarter, contributing to the region’s recovery.

“The outlook for the region remains challenging as economic growth remains well below the pre-crisis average,” Punam Chuhan-Pole, World Bank lead economist and lead author of the report, said in an emailed statement. “The pace of growth will only yield slow gains in per-capita income that will not be enough to harness broad-based prosperity and accelerate poverty reduction.”

The International Monetary Fund cut its projection for sub-Saharan Africa’s economic growth this year to 2.6 percent on Tuesday.


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