Sub-Sahara Africa’s GDP growth doubled from 1.4% in 2016 to 2.8% in 2017, according to a new report by the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research of the University of Ghana.
It said per capita GDP growth also increased from -0.9% in 2016 to 0.4% in 2017, and is estimated to reach 1.0% in 2018, according to the report.
This is higher than the growth rates of Advanced Economies, EU and Latin America and the Caribbean among the major regional groups in the world, but lower than those of Emerging and Developing Asia and Emerging Market and Developing Economies
The upswing in SSA growth is attributed to factors such as “the more supportive external environment, including stronger global growth, higher commodity prices and improved market access” particularly the rebound in commodity prices, with oil prices being higher on average in 2017 than in 2016.
As a matter of fact, SSA’s oil exporters (excluding Nigeria) experienced an increase in growth, from -1.3% in 2016 to -0.3% in 2017, or from -1.5% to 0.5% including Nigeria.
The two largest SSA economies, Nigeria and South Africa, fared relatively well in 2017.
Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy and oil exporter, has been affected positively by the oil price rise in 2017, with government revenues increasing from 5.6% of GDP in 2016 to 6.0% in 2017, though this revenue share in 2017 represents a decline of more than 66 per cent from their zenith of 17.7% in 2011.
Correspondingly, Nigeria’s GDP growth rate increased from -1.6% in 2016 to 0.8% in 2017. Similarly, the country’s non-oil GDP growth also increased to 0.5% in 2017 from -0.3% in 2016, compared to 3.6% in 2015, 7.3% in 2014 and 8.3% in 2013.
The apparent growth recovery in 2017 is attributed to good harvests and a recovery in oil production after easing tensions in the Niger Delta.