By EMMANUEL ELEBEKE
Economies in Sub-Saharan African is expected to grow at 4.8 percent in 2012, despite setbacks in the global economy.
According to the World Bank’s new Africa’s Pulse, the expected growth, which is said to be largely on track will not be changed from the 4.9 percent growth rate in 2011, an indicator it said has fuelled investors interest in the region with $31 billion in foreign direct investment flows expected this year, despite difficult global conditions.
The statement from the World bank said, excluding South Africa, the continent’s largest economy, growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is forecast to rise to 6 percent, following a rebound in African exports, notably in the first quarter of 2012, which grew at an annual pace of 32 percent, up from the -11 percent pace recorded in the last quarter of 2011.
Though, with these strides, the statement said that African countries have not been immune to the recent bout of market volatility stemming from the Euro Area crisis, as well as the growth slowdown that is occurring in some of the largest developing economies, in particular China, which remains an important market for Africa’s mineral exporters and urged Africa to spend their wealth wisely.
It however, noted that the consistent high commodity prices and strong export growth in European countries which have made mineral discoveries in recent years, have fuelled economic activity and are expected to underpin Africa’s economic growth for the rest of 2012.
World Bank Vice-President for Africa, Makhtar Diop, said “A third of African countries will grow at or above 6 percent with some of the fastest growing ones buoyed by new mineral exports such as iron ore in Sierra Leone and uranium and oil in Niger, and by factors such as the return to peace in Cote d’Ivoire, as well as strong growth in countries such as Ethiopia.
“An important indicator of how Africa is on the move is that investor interest in the region remains strong, with $31 billion in foreign direct investment flows expected this year, despite difficult global conditions. An unprecedented hot and dry summer in the United States, Russia and Eastern Europe led to reduced yields on both maize and wheat production worldwide. Africa’s Sahel region is already suffering from higher food prices, high rates of malnutrition and recurring crisis and insecurity.