Global economic growth offering new opportunities

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Africa’s eastern countries are experiencing the most rapid economic growth on the continent.Djibouti, Ethiopia,Rwanda and the United Republic of Tanzania, underpinned by infrastructure investments, resilient services and the recovery of agricultural production are growing the fastest, according to the Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2018 report that was launched in Ethiopia on Tuesday, January 16, 2018.
In other African regions, the report states that Senegal in West Africa has joined this group of rapidly growing economies, spurred by greater competitiveness, progress in structural reforms and favorable external conditions, such as positive terms of trade, favorable climatic conditions and a stable security environment.
The report shows that Africa’s aggregate GDP masks considerable variation among its sub regions. The less resource-dependent countries in East Africa, such as Djibouti, Ethiopia and the United Republic of Tanzania, and in West Africa, including Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Senegal, will continue to witness above average growth, supported by vigorous infrastructure investment, strong service sectors and a recovery in agricultural production.
By contrast, many oil and minerals exporters will witness weak growth, as commodity prices remain well below their 2014 levels and fiscal consolidation efforts constrain public investment.
Some Least Developed Countries (LDCs) of the world face prominent growth challenges, the publication also shows. Conflict-afflicted Yemen has been in recession for the past several years. The ongoing armed conflict has inflicted significant damage to the agriculture sector and itscrumbling institutional infrastructure is expected to prevent a significant rebound in the near future.
After an estimated growth of only 1.3 per cent in 2017, Haiti is forecast to see a moderate pickup in economic activity by 2019, amid continued reconstruction of infrastructure and recovery in the agricultural sector. However, severe macroeconomic imbalances, political unrest and natural disasters threaten to derail the recovery.
Findings also show that strong public and private investment is a common feature among those LDCs that are growing at over 7 per cent per year. As explained in the State of the Least Developed Countries 2017 (UN-OHRLLS,2017), another significant publication, an additional investment of USD 24 billion per year would suffice to bring the group, on average, to 7 percent GDP growth between 2016 and 2020.
Looking at other parts of the world, the report states that the recent pickup in global growth stems predominantly from firmer growth in several developed economies, although East and South Asia remain the world most dynamic regions. In 2017, East and South Asia accounted for nearly half of global growth, with China alone contributing about one-third.