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Sub-Saharan Africa economy set to expand by 3.3 percent in 2021

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According to the latest edition of the World Bank Africa’s Pulse, the biannual analysis of the near-term macroeconomic outlook for Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa economy is set to expand by 3.3 percent in 2021, i.e. one percentage point higher than the previous forecast (April 2021), and with respect to the recent UNCTAD estimate given in latest Trade and Development report (2021), issued on 15 September 2021.

This revision in the expected growth rate of the Sub-Saharan African economy is mainly justified by the progressive surge of commodity prices (energy, metals and agricultural products), as most of African economies are commodity-dependent and therefore derive most of their export incomes from their sales on international markets. Non-resource-rich countries, such as Côte d’Ivoire and Kenya, are expected to recover strongly at 6.2 and 5.0 percent, respectively, while in some economies, especially in Central Africa, the digitalization of tax and customs procedures has generated and is expected to generate in future more public revenues.

The report also notes that in the latest year African imports have outpaced exports (+2.17 percent against +1.67 percent), with exports primarily driven by services, which remain the driving force and the main contributor to the aggregated African GDP, followed by the industry, and to a lesser extent, by the agriculture sector, that has been characterised by a slow pick-up and low productivity.

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