Sub-Saharan Africa set to enjoy modest growth uptick- IMF Resident Rep.

Friday, June 08, 2018

The resident representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), PHD Ruby E.M Randall has revealed that the Sub-Saharan Africa is set to enjoy a modest growth uptick, pointing out that decisive policies are needed to reduce vulnerabilities and raise medium term growth prospects.

 “Average growth in the region is projected to rise from 2.8 percent in 2017 to 3.4 percent in 2018, with growth accelerating in about two-thirds of the countries in the region aided by stronger global growth, higher commodity prices, and improved capital market access. On current policies, average growth in the region is expected to plateau below four percent, barely one percent in per capita terms and over the medium term. Turning the current recovery into sustained strong growth consistent with the achievement of the SDGs would require policies to both reduce vulnerabilities and raise medium term growth prospects.”

She made these remarks yesterday in a forum held at Ocean Bay Hotel, Cape Point, Bakau, organised by IMF to present the April 2018 report of the Regional Economic Outlook (REO) for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). 

Dr. Randall stressed that prudent fiscal policy is needed to rein in public debt, while monetary policy must be geared toward ensuring low inflation, adding that countries should also strengthen revenue mobilisation and continue to advance structural reforms to reduce market distortions, shaping an environment that fosters private investment.

“Domestic revenue mobilisation is one of the most pressing policy challenges facing sub-Saharan African countries, while the reasons may vary according to country-specific circumstances. Private investment in sub-Saharan Africa is low compared with other countries with similar levels of economic development. The low level of private investment is constraining the region’s efforts to improve social outcomes by holding back labor productivity and the resulting gains in real wages and households’ income,” she stated.

At regional, she explained the trends SSA enjoyed – a sustained period of rising incomes for nearly two decades; real GDP per capita growth in the SSA region stalled in 2015. However, growth is now rebounding but remains uneven and the outlook is subdued, she said.

“Concrete policy actions are needed for a sustained and more robust recovery over the medium term; Fiscal adjustment should be designed to minimize any adverse impact on growth; the tax gap is sizable and should be closed; boosting private investment can lead to more durable growth; and further trade integration would also help increase medium-term growth.”  

Author: Pa Modou Cham
Source: Picture: PHD Ruby E.M Randall , IMF Rep.