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In 2013, Africa maintained an average growth rate of about 4%. This compares to 3% for the global economy and underscores again the continent's resilience to global and regional headwinds. But growth performance varied widely across country classifications and regions. Growth in sub-Saharan Africa was 5% in 2013 and is projected to be 5.8% in 2014. Excluding South Africa, the figures are 6.1% and 6.8%, respectively. East and West Africa recorded the fastest growth in 2013, 6% or above. Furthermore, growth in low-income countries, at 6% or above, exceeded that of upper-middle-income countries in North and Southern Africa at below 3%. Africa's medium-term growth prospects look good. Africa's average growth is projected to accelerate to close to 5% in 2014 and 5%-6% in 2015, thus to levels last seen before the onset of the 2009 global recession. This forecast is based on the premise of a gradual strengthening of the world economy and also on improvements in political and social stability in those African countries currently affected by conflicts. But if the global economy should remain weak, or if political and social tensions within Africa were to improve less than assumed, growth would be lower than projected.

Inflationary pressures have eased in many countries as energy prices have stopped rising and food prices have declined. These developments, together with prudent fiscal policies,have provided some scope for monetary policy to reduce interest rates. But in other countries where fiscal policy has been lax and where currencies have weakened, monetary policy has tightened to stem inflationary pressure.

Figure 1.1 Africa´s Economic Growth (%)