Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy grew 2.9 percent in 2023 compared to 3.7 percent in 2022, the World Bank said in a report released Tuesday.
According to the lender’s report, titled Global Economic Prospects, growth in the region’s three leading economies — Nigeria, South Africa, and Angola — slowed to an average of 1.8 percent last year, holding back the region’s overall growth.
“Post-pandemic recoveries were slowed by weakening external demand and domestic policy tightening to address persistent inflation,” the report says.
The Bank said that growth in 2023 in several countries was hampered by intense and protracted conflicts, most notably that in Sudan, and recent flare-ups of violence in Chad and Niger, contributing to an increase in violent events in the region.
The report notes that lower metal prices weighed on growth in many metal-exporting economies such as Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Zambia.
The Bank projects that economic expansion in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to accelerate to 3.8 percent in 2024 and rise to 4.1 percent in 2025 as inflationary pressures fade and financial conditions ease.
“Despite the projected pickup in growth, increases in per capita incomes will remain inadequate to enable the region’s economies to make significant progress in reducing extreme poverty,” the report says.
The Bank said that the outlook could be affected by a further rise in global or regional instability, such as the possible escalation of the conflict in the Middle East, which could drive up global energy and food prices, a sharper-than-expected global economic slowdown or the increased frequency and intensity of adverse weather events.