Director of the IMF’s African Department Abebe Aemro Selassie
AfricaNews

SS Africa Economy Recovering after Four Challenging Years

ADDIS ABABA – Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy is recovering modestly, with growth expected to rise from 3.4% last year to 3.8% in 2024, the International Monitory Fund (IMF) said in its regional outlook.

Per the outlook, inflation has declined significantly from its Nov 2022 peak, and fiscal deficits have narrowed, contributing to stabilizing debt levels.

After four challenging years and multiple shocks, Sub-Saharan’s economy appears to be on the mend, said Abebe Selassie, the Fund’s African Department director.

Nearly two-third of countries in the region are expected to record faster growth in 2024 compared to 2023.

The IMF report states that the oil exporting nations in particular look set for a stronger rebound, while growth in diversified economies is expected to sustain robust growth.

After peaking at almost 10 percent in late 2022, inflation has nearly halved to around 6 percent in the early part of the year.

Yet far too many countries still face a funding squeeze, with government interest payments now accounting for about 12 percent of revenues, more than double the level a decade ago, Abebe said.

The director added more international support is urgently needed to help the region navigate through a more shock-prone world and build a more resilient future.

To adapt to this challenging environment, governments in the region are also urged to focus on three policy priorities.

These are improving public finances through tax revenue mobilization; sustaining the focus on reducing inflation wherever inflation remains well above target; and implementing reforms to enhance skill development and innovation as well as business environment and trade integration.

“With the right policy choices today, I am confident that this moment could set the stage for this century to be the African century,” Abebe noted.