Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.
Africa’s economic growth is expected to slow to 3.8 percent this year from 4.5 percent in 2021 mainly because of Russia’s war in Ukraine that has triggered a sharp rise in commodity prices, strained the fiscal and external balances of commodity-importing countries and increased food-security concerns across the region, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its latest Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa released on Thursday.
IMF noted that the economic recovery in sub-Saharan Africa picked up in the third quarter of 2021 and held up despite the onset of a fourth COVID-19 wave at the end of the year. Things went so well that estimated growth in 2021 has been revised upward from 3.7 to 4.5percent. However, that progress has been jeopardized by Russia’s war in Ukraine and other shocks and risks.
“The war in Ukraine has already reshaped the near-term outlook for sub-Saharan Africa,” stressed Abebe Aemro Selassie, Director of the IMF’s African Department. “The shock to global commodity markets will add to inflation, hit the region’s most vulnerable households, exacerbate food insecurity, raise poverty rates, and possibly add to social tensions.”