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Monday, January 13, 2014 

Sub-Saharan Africa growth rate pegged at 5.3%

Africa’s economy is projected to grow by 5.3% this year, thanks to the expansion of agricultural production and the rise of oil output among others.

According Prof Humphrey Moshi of the University of Dar es Salaam’s Department of Economics, Africa has seen an extraordinary rebound in economic growth over the past decade.

Moshi said some of the world’s fastest growing economies are in Africa, and they have expanded even during the ongoing uncertainty in the global economy.

“The main engines of growth are expected to be expansion in agricultural production, robust growth in services and, a rise in oil production and increased mining activity mainly in resource-rich countries,” Prof Moshi said.

He added, “This relatively broad-based pattern of economic growth will be underpinned by resurgence in supply and domestic demand conditions, the later driven by an increase in consumption and investment,” he said.

“Central Africa and East Africa are also expected to achieve robust growth,” Prof Mushi told East African Business Week in Bagamoyo recently during the launch of the Human Development Report 2013.

In Southern Africa growth will remain blighted by slow recovery in South Africa, the region’s largest economy as in North Africa, the slow pace of transition to democracy is likely to continue to affect the economies of the region, despite strong recovery in Libya’s oil production.

In 2012, Africa’s monetary authorities had to contend with inflationary pressures stemming from higher food and fuel prices and in some East African countries, rapid recit expansion and depreciation of exchange rates.

Accordingly, average inflation in Africa increased to 9.1% from 8.5% the previous year, with Sudan’s inflation topping at 36%. 

“We expect some easing of inflationary pressures, largely due to relatively stable oil and food prices,” Prof Mushi said.

In 2013, FDI to Africa was also projected to remain buoyant, increasing by over 10% in 2013, close to the levels recorded in 2008, Mushi said.

The southern African region is expected to be main recipient of FDI flows, with new resources-seeking investment expected in Angola, Mozambique and South Africa.

According to him the share of Africa’s export to its emerging trading partners continues to progressively increase, notably to China, but also India, Brazil and others.

Yet, for the time being Europe and the United States continue to be Africa’s main trading partners. Africa is also seeking to strengthen regional integration and recognizes the need to speed up its implementation process.  

By Leonard Magomba, Monday, January 13th, 2014