Thursday, January 13, 2011

Good News For African Economy

The World Bank raised its forecast for economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2011 as the global economy recovers. In June 2010, the Bank had forecast that the growth will pick up from 4.7% to an estimated 5.1% this year. But with the global economic recovery, the Bank is expecting a further rise in the growth to 5.3% especially for the oil-producing nations, Nigeria and Angola.

The biggest economy in the continent, South Africa is expected to expand to 3.5% this year and 4.1% next year because of an increase in consumer spending and government spending on infrastructures. But the appreciation in South African rand remains a big challenge for South African export. The second biggest economy in the region and the largest oil-producing nation, Nigeria also shows great improvement in their economic performance. Continued growth in its non-oil sectors and government spending is helping Nigeria to a growth of 7.1% from a previous estimate of 5.7%. Other oil-producing nations such as, Angola and Ghana are also following the same path.

In the Eastern region, Kenya is showing positive growth as East Africa's biggest economy. But the biggest challenges to growth in this region are still the prospect for another recession and the incident of political turmoils. If Africa can surpass these hurdles in the coming year, the economic outlook of the poorest continent is surely expected to change for better.

-Nisha Noor