Sub-Saharan Africa's projected economic growth to weaken to 3.8%
Image by the International Monetary Fund.

Image by the International Monetary Fund.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Thursday that Sub-Saharan Africa's projected economic growth for 2022 will weaken to 3.8 percent due to a range of factors. Among them are the effects of Russia-Ukraine crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and heightened security risks in the Sahel region.

The conflict between Russian and Ukraine according to the IMF, has triggered a global economic shock that is hitting the region at a time when countries' policy space to respond to it is minimal to nonexistent. 

Most notably, surging oil and food prices are straining the external and fiscal balances of commodity-importing countries and have increased food security concerns in the region.
Moreover, the shock compounds some of the region's most pressing policy challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic's social and economic legacy, climate change, heightened security risks in the Sahel, and the ongoing tightening of monetary policy in the United States. And due to these, the growth momentum for the region has weakened this year with economic activity expected to expand by 3.8 percent. 

While the economic recovery is projected to accelerate in 2023 to about 4 percent over the medium term, this pace is not enough to make up for lost ground from the pandemic. Beside accelerating the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, immediate policy priorities include helping the most vulnerable households cope with high food and energy costs without adding to existing debt vulnerabilities, containing inflation pressures, and managing exchange rate adjustments. 

Looking beyond the pandemic and current geopolitical tensions, job creation and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals will require strong, inclusive, and sustainable growth in the region. To this end, decisive policy action is needed to enhance economic diversification, unleash the private sector's potential, and address the challenges posed by climate change.

(With input from the IMF)

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