Africa is showing promising future economic outlook: AfDB

adesina 6Africa’s GDP growth is projected to reach four per cent in 2019 and 4.1 per cent in 2020, according to the African Development Bank (AfDB)

Akinwumi Adesina, president of the AfDB, referred to the bank’s publication the African Economic Outlook 2019, which noted that the recovery in commodity prices is driving domestic demand and infrastructure investment.

Economic opportunities in Africa are generating considerable interest globally. For example, the agreement in March 2018 establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will create the largest free trade area in the world. The CFTA will provide an unprecedented framework with the capacity to increase trade by at least 100 per cent in Africa.

AfDB, whose triple-A rating with stable outlook has been reconfirmed by the four major global rating agencies, has also invested US$1bn in Afreximbank including US$650mn in credit lines for trade finance and US$350mn in insurance.

“We need to break down all barriers that impede the free movement of people across the continent, especially that of workers because this is vital for promoting investment,” Adesina said.

In its report on intra-African investment, the AfDB emphasised the significant increase in cross-border investments – US$12bn last year, up from US$2bn in 2010. Under the G20 Compact with Africa, the Bank has worked with the World Bank and the IMF to provide assistance to African countries, particularly to improve company regulations and the business environment.

The Bank was the lead lender for the construction of the historic Senegambia bridge linking Gambia and Senegal, which opened on 21 January 2019. In addition, AfDB’s investment portfolio in Côte d’Ivoire has tripled in the last three years, reaching US$1.8bn in 2018.

The African Development Bank continues to invest in infrastructure to connect countries and improve their competitiveness. It has provided US$16mn to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for the preparation of feasibility studies for the Lagos-Abidjan corridor. It has also funded 1000 kilometres of road between Addis Ababa and Mombasa, which has increased trade fivefold between Ethiopia and Kenya.

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