Sub-Saharan Africa to see mixed economic recovery into 2022

PUBLISHED: Wed, 27 Oct 2021 10:20:50 GMT
Vuyani Ndaba
Reuters
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A man carries Nigerian naira banknotes at a livestock market in Abuja, Nigeria July 29, 2020. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 27 (Reuters) – Growth in sub-Saharan Africa’s big economies will be mixed into 2022, after a year of recovery from COVID-19 lockdowns, as life slowly returns to normal amid low vaccination rates, a Reuters poll found on Wednesday.

But the pace of recovery is largely positive, according to the poll, conducted from Oct. 19-26.

Growth in Nigeria – Africa’s biggest economy – was expected at 2.7% next year from 2.5% this year after a negative shock of almost 2% last year.

Kenya – east Africa’s biggest economy – will grow 5.3% next year from 5.1% this year, the poll found. The International Monetary Fund reckons it probably shrank 0.3% last year.

Ghana was expected to grow 5.1% next year from an estimated 4.2%. Like South Africa, Zambia was expected to slow, to 2.5% next year from an estimate of 3.2% in 2021.

Weighing on economic recoveries, Africa still needs to inoculate much of its 1.3 billion people, who have had far less access to vaccines than more prosperous regions.

Only about 8.4% of Africa’s population has received at least one dose, compared to the global average of 48.7%, according to the World Health Organization.

South Africa was estimated to have expanded 5% this year, but that will slow to 2.2% growth in 2022. It experienced one of the biggest contractions on the continent last year, which the IMF estimated at 6.4%.

The IMF expects sub-Saharan Africa to grow 3.7% in 2021 and 3.8% in 2022.

(Reporting and polling by Vuyani Ndaba; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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