Ghana will be Africa’s fastest growing economy in 2018

The World Bank (WB) has forecasted that growth in Sub-Saharan Africa will pick up at 3.2 percent in 2018, and Ghana will lead from the front as the fastest growing economy in Africa next year  followed by Ethiopia and Tanzania

In a brief report, Global Economic Prospects: Sub-Saharan Africa, the WB predicted Ghana 7.8 per cent and Ethiopia 8.3 per cent while Tanzania to grow 7.2 per cent.

The Ghana’s economic growth, which had slowed from 4.0% in 2014 to 3.7% in 2015,  recover to 5.8% in 2016 and 8.7% in 2017, following consolidation of macroeconomic stability and implementation of measures to resolve the crippling power crisis.

However the forecasted recovery in economic growth in 2018 will depends on fiscal consolidation measures remaining on track, quick resolution of the power crisis, two new oil wells coming on-stream, and improved cocoa harvest and gold production.

“Growth in non-resource intensive countries is anticipated to remain solid, supported by infrastructure investment, resilient services sectors, and the recovery of agricultural production,” WB said in a statement.

The report brief further said weather-related risks are elevated in East Africa. “Worsening drought conditions will severely affect agricultural production, push food prices higher, and increase food insecurity in the subregion,” the bank said.

On the Sub-Sahara outlook, the bank said growth in the area was forecast to pick up to 2.6 per cent in 2017 and to 3.2 per cent in 2018, predicated on moderately rising commodity prices and reforms to tackle macroeconomic imbalances.

Per capita output was projected to shrink by 0.1 per cent in 2017 and to increase to a modest 0.7 per cent growth pace over 2018-19. “At those rates,” World Bank said “growth will be insufficient to achieve poverty reduction goals in the region, particularly if constraints to more vigorous growth persist”.

Growth in South Africa, the second biggest economy in Africa, is projected to rise to 0.6 per cent in 2017 and accelerate to 1.1 per cent in 2018. Africa’s biggest economy, Nigeria, is forecast to go from recession to a 1.2 per cent growth rate in 2017, gaining speed to 2.4 per cent in 2018, helped by a rebound in oil production.

Growth is forecast to jump to 6.1 per cent in Ghana in 2017 and 7.8 per cent in 2018 as increased oil and gas production boosts exports and domestic electricity production.

For Nigeria, growth is expected to rise from 1.2 percent in 2017 to 2.5 percent in 2018-19, helped by a rebound in oil production, as security in the oil producing region improves, and by an increase in fiscal spending.

However the bank noted that militants’ attacks on oil pipelines could hold the key.”If militants’ attacks on oil pipelines in the country decreases further the Nigeria economic will grow further”