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The World Bank fears "lost decade" for sub-Saharan Africa

World Bank Chief Ajay Banga gestures as he speaks during a press briefing at the G20 Finance Ministers meetings at the Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar on July 18, 2023.   -  
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SAM PANTHAKY/AFP or licensors

World Bank

The World Bank published its growth forecasts for sub-Saharan Africa on Wednesday, expressing fears of a lost decade for the continent, faced with growing instability.

For the current year, growth should reach 2.5%, the institution estimated, compared with 3.6% last year, due in particular to the slowdown in the region's main economies.

Indeed, Nigeria's economy is expected to grow by 2.9%, while Angola's will reach 1.3% and South Africa just 0.5%.

Even more problematic for the region, its GDP per capita that has not grown since 2015, according to the global financial institution, which points out that growth in this indicator could be just 0.1% per year over the 2015 to 2025 period.

Reasons such as political instability and fragility, as well as rising conflict and violence, are cited by the institution as the main culprits of the slowdown and sharp recession in some countries, such as Sudan, whose economy is expected to shrink by 12% this year, as it faces a long-running conflict.

To make matters worse, public debt remains a cause for concern, with more than twenty countries in the region presenting a high risk of over-indebtedness.

Although the economic situation remains complex, the World Bank nevertheless points out that certain aspects are improving, with inflation being less marked this year than in 2022, at 7.3% compared to 9.3%.

In addition, some areas of the region are faring better, such as ECOWAS in West Africa, which should see cumulative growth of 5.1%, and the East African Community, whose economy is expected to grow by 4.9%.