Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy is expected to expand by 3.3 percent in 2021 after a contraction of 2 percent in 2020, the World Bank said on Wednesday.
According to analysis in the Pulse, the World Bank’s twice-yearly economic update for the region, the economic recovery will be fueled by elevated commodity prices, relaxation of stringent measures as well as recovery in global trade.
The global lender also projects the region’s economic growth for 2022 and 2023 at just below 4 percent.
The findings show that the region’s recovery process from the 2020 recession has been affected by a third wave of the pandemic, led by the Delta variant, a more transmissible and virulent strain of COVID-19.
The analysis indicates that the rollout of vaccine campaigns in Africa is falling considerably shorter compared with other continents, as about 3.3 percent of the population is inoculated compared with more than 50 percent in advanced economies.
“Fair and broad access to effective and safe COVID-19 vaccines is key to saving lives and strengthening Africa’s economic recovery. Faster vaccine deployment would accelerate the region’s growth to 5.1 percent in 2022 and 5.4 percent in 2023 – as more containment measures are lifted, boosting consumption and investment,” Albert Zeufack, chief economist for Africa at World Bank said.
The report notes that African countries have seized the opportunity resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic to foster structural and macroeconomic reforms.
The World Bank added that accelerating the economic recovery in sub-Saharan Africa requires significant additional financing.
“The region needs more financing to counter the effects of the pandemic and sustain a robust and inclusive recovery. This is needed to narrow the unequal recovery path between rich and poor countries,” it said