THE African Economic Outlook for 2016 has been launched at the on-going African Development Bank 2016 annual meetings in Lusaka and is showing positive economic performance for 2017 rebounding from 3.7 percent projected growth for this year to 4.5 percent next year.
According to the outlook, the continent remained the second fastest growing economic region after East Asia.
In its prudent forecast, the continent’s average growth was expected at 3.7 percent in 2016 and picked up to 4.5 percent in 2017, provided that the world economy strengthened and commodity prices gradually recovered.
It indicated that net financial inflows to Africa in 2015 were estimated at US$208 billion, 1.8 percent lower than 2014 due to a contraction in investment.
Official development, however, assisted by 4 percent in most stable and important single source of external finance at US$ 64 billion in 2015. The outlook also showed that the continent was urbanising at a historically rapid pace coupled with an unprecedented demographic boom.
It also revealed that urbanisation was a megatrend transforming African societies profoundly with two thirds of the investments in urban infrastructure until 2050.
According to the report, urbanisation could help advance economic development through higher agriculture productivity if harnessed.
It could also promote social development for the continent through safer and inclusive urban housing and robust social safety nets.
Speaking at the launch, African Development Bank acting director, for development research department Abebe Shimeles said Africa’s economic growth was expected to remain moderate and rebound in 2017 registering growth of 4.5 percent. Mr Shimeles said African countries had shown remarkable resilience in the face of global economic adversity.
He explained that turning Africa’s steady resilience into better lives for Africans required strong policy action to promote faster and more inclusive growth.
He further said Africa needed a 7 percent growth rate to fight poverty and urbanisation.
And Mr Shimeles said the oil prices on the continent were expected to recover in 2017 but at a slower rate.