Nigeria, other sub-Saharan nations’ economic recovery will be slowest: IMF

The International Monetary Fund IMF on Thursday said that the economic recovery of Nigeria and other sub-Saharan nations will be slowest, lagging behind developed nations.

The IMF, in its latest report titled regional economic outlook for sub-Saharan Africa, projected the region’s economy to grow by 3.7 per cent and 3.8 per cent for 2021 and 2022 respectively.The projection implies that the region will suffer the slowest recovery in the world as advanced markets grow by more than five per cent, while other emerging markets and developing countries grow by more than six per cent.

Giving reason for the slow recovery, Abebe Aemro Selassie, director of the IMF’s African department, explained that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the region’s economy is making a swift recovery difficult.

He also blamed slow vaccine rollout and stark differences in policy space for the laggard recovery.

“As sub-Saharan Africa navigates through a persistent pandemic with repeated waves of infection, a return to normal will be far from easy. In the absence of vaccines, lockdowns and other containment measures have been the only option for containing the virus,” Mr Selassie said.

The fund predicted that higher oil prices will help Nigeria expand by 2.6 per cent in 2021 with rates remaining at that level for the foreseeable future, the report predicted.

Also, the economy of South Africa is expected to expand by five per cent this year before slowing down to 2.2 per cent in 2022.

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