African Economy Slows for Two Consecutive Years, 2024 to become Year of Growth

Of the 20 fastest growing economies in the world this year, 11 will be African

Jeffrey Sachs

Political instability, exacerbated by war in the Middle East and economic slowdown in China, continues to hit Africa hard, recording a 3.2% decline in 2023, the second year in a row. In 2022, the African continent’s economies contracted by 4.1%. These are the figures published on February 16, 2024 in the latest report by the African Development Bank (ADB) titled “Africa’s Macroeconomic Performance and Outlook, January 2024” (PDF). The report was prepared with the participation of Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University (USA).

Nevertheless, ADB analysts believe that economic recovery should begin as early as 2024, when 11 African countries are set to join the prestigious list of the world’s 20 fastest growing economies. The African continent’s GDP is expected to grow by 3.8% and 4.2% respectively over the 2024-2025 biennium, well above the global average growth projected at 2.9% for 2024 and at 3.2% for 2025.

In the context of the recession hitting Equatorial Guinea, one of Africa’s largest oil-producing countries, and the impact caused by devastating floods in Libya, the African lending institution has revised its regional growth estimates downward for “Central and North Africa.” “The shocks that hit African economies three years in a row have slowed growth, which has long-term implications. Nonetheless, in an unfavorable global economic context, 15 African countries recorded economic growth above 5% last year,” Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, said at the report presentation.

Countries experiencing rapid economic growth include Ethiopia, which is successfully restructuring its external debt, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritius, and Rwanda. For 2024, the bank forecasts rapid economic growth in almost all regions of the Dark Continent, except for Central and North Africa, with ADB experts ranking South Africa “last” in terms of growth rate with +2.2%, compared to the 5.7% growth expected for East Africa.

Growth in Nigeria, West Africa’s largest economy, is not expected to exceed 2.9% in 2024, which is 0.4% above the 2023 performance. Nigeria suffers from devaluation of the nation’s currency and consequently galloping inflation, which has resulted in skyrocketing cost of living.

Finally, the 11 African countries that will have the most significant economic growth in 2024 are: Niger (11.2%), Senegal (8.2%), Libya (7.9%), Rwanda (7.2%), Côte d’Ivoire (6.8%), Ethiopia (6.7%), Benin (6.4%), Djibouti (6.2%), Tanzania (6.1%), Togo (6%), and Uganda (6%).