AFDB projects 3.8% GDP growth for West Africa

The Punch - - BUSINESS & ECONOMY - Ever­est Amae­fule, Abuja

THE African Devel­op­ment Bank has pre­dicted an av­er­age growth rate of 3.8 per cent in the Gross Do­mes­tic Prod­uct of West Africa economies.

The bank made the pre­dic­tion in its pub­li­ca­tion, ‘African Eco­nomic Out­look’, which now comes in four re­gional edi­tions.

In a state­ment made avail­able to our cor­re­spon­dent in Abuja on Mon­day, the bank said unim­pres­sive per­for­mance in Nige­ria in 2016 re­sulted in stag­na­tion in the West African re­gion as the na­tion ac­counts for about 70 per cent of the re­gional econ­omy.

Ac­cord­ing to the bank, fol­low­ing the re­cov­ery ex­pe­ri­enced in Nige­ria and other West African coun­tries in 2017, growth in the GDP is ex­pected to rise to 3.8 per cent in 2018 and move up to 3.9 per cent in 2019.

The AFDB stated, “Af­ter sev­eral good years, eco­nomic growth in West Africa stag­nated at 0.5 per cent in 2016. The de­cline in the price of raw ma­te­ri­als and the unim­pres­sive per­for­mance of Nige­ria, which alone ac­counts for about 70 per cent of the sub re­gion’s GDP, were some of the key fac­tors iden­ti­fied as re­spon­si­ble for stag­na­tion.

“Eco­nomic growth in West Africa re­bounded to 2.5 per cent in 2017 and is pro­jected to rise to 3.8 per cent in 2018 and 3.9 per cent in 2019. House­hold con­sump­tion and the rel­a­tive price re­cov­ery of cer­tain ma­te­ri­als are ex­pected to con­trib­ute to this per­for­mance.”

The Deputy Di­rec­tor-gen­eral, African Devel­op­ment Bank for West Africa, Marie-laure Akin-olug­bade, iden­ti­fied job cre­ation, es­pe­cially for young peo­ple, as the big chal­lenge for the sub-re­gion.

She stated, “The 2018 Re­gional Eco­nomic Out­look for West Africa presents a com­pre­hen­sive anal­y­sis of the econ­omy and the labour mar­ket of 15 coun­tries, fo­cus­ing on macroe­co­nomic sta­bil­ity, em­ploy­ment and poverty of the pop­u­la­tion liv­ing in West Africa.

“Let us not for­get that some of the coun­tries in this sub-re­gion are fac­ing enor­mous se­cu­rity chal­lenges.”

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