Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa expected to dip further

The World Bank says the decline in oil and commodity prices has hurt resource rich countries.

The city of Kigali in Rwanda. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The World Bank has predicted that economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to fall further to 1.6% this year, the lowest level in over two decades.

The latest figures have been outlined in the new Africa's Pulse report which is a biannual analysis of economic trends and data for the region.

While many countries are showing signs of decline in economic growth rates, some like Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania have recorded an annual growth rate of over 6%.

Africa's Pulse has noted that the sub-Saharan regions economic performance in 2017 will continue varying across countries, while the larger economies and commodity exporters are expected to see a modest increase.

The report also says the decline in oil and commodity prices has hurt resource rich countries, which signals an urgent need for economic diversification including improvements in agriculture.

The report has found that sub-Saharan African countries underfund high-return investments including in agriculture.

The paper has recommended that countries take urgent steps to adjust to low commodity prices, address economic vulnerabilities and develop new sources of sustainable growth.