By Simon Ateba/Washington DC
The African economy would only grow by 1.6 percent this year, according to the World Bank, 1.4 percent, according to the International Monetary Fund, its lowest growth in more than two decades and a direct result of the sluggish economies of Nigeria, South Africa and Angola.
Cameroonian expert Albert Zeufack, who is a Chief economist for the African region at the World Bank told a gathering on Saturday that Nigeria and South Africa alone account for about 50 percent of the total Gross Domestic Product, GDP, of the African continent, and when both countries ”sneeze, Africa catches cold”.
If oil-producing country Angola is added, he said, the three countries account for at least 60 percent of the African GDP, leaving over 50 other countries with only 40 percent.
Mr. Zeufack was speaking at the International Monetary Fund/World Bank meetings taking place in Washington DC.
He said the sluggish growth of the African economy is even lower than its three percent population growth, an imbalance that is worrying economists around the world.
Despite, the somehow gloomy picture, he acknowledged that at least 50 percent of African countries are still growing at about 4 percent, showing resilience even while the continent seems to be in decline.
He suggested that Africa embraces monetary and fiscal policies as well as positive reformes, boosts production and strengthens the social contracts by eliminating conflicts.
Mr. Zeufack’s assessment and recommendations are in tandem with the position of the World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim and other economists who have been proffering solutions here in Washington DC to the world economy.