COMMODITIES BOOM SEES AFRICA OUTPACE GLOBAL GROWTH
By Antonio Guerrero
African economic growth is outpacing the global average for the first time, according to a World Bank report, with such sub-Saharan countries as Sierra Leone, Niger and Angola leading the pack amid increased mining exports.
|Sub-Saharan economies to grow by 4.9%|
The report predicts sub-Saharan economies will grow by an average 4.9% this year, up slightly from 4.8% in 2011. Sierra Leone alone will grow by 25% in 2012, driven by iron ore shipments. The World Bank estimates FDI in the region will hit $31 billion this year, rising to nearly $49 billion by 2014. However, it warns the outlook may change, depending on growth prospects in the US, the eurozone and China.
The International Finance Corp, the World Bank’s private-sector lending arm, plans to invest at least $4.3 billion in sub-Saharan Africa next year, up from this year’s record $4 billion. Much of the funds will be invested in the energy and transportation sectors. The IFC indicates the focus on these sectors is driven by the need to eliminate economic bottlenecks caused by deficient infrastructure, in order to boost competitiveness and support long-term growth.