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Africa dominates list of the world’s 20 fastest-growing economies in 2024

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louis Buyisiwe

Feb 16, 2024

Africa's Economic Surge: Navigating Growth Amid Global Challenges in 2024

"Infographic highlighting Africa's economic growth in 2024, emphasizing the balance between opportunities in natural resources and the services sector, and the challenges of external debt and global economic pressures."
From left to right: Director, Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University, Prof Jeffrey Sachs; AU Commissioner, Ambassador Albert Muchanga; African Development Bank President Dr Akinwumi Adesina, Vice President Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade and Chief Economist and Vice President Prof Kevin Urama.

In 2024, Africa is poised to emerge as the world's second-fastest-growing major economy, as highlighted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). This remarkable growth trajectory places the continent ahead of regions such as North America, South America, Europe, and Australia, with only Asia, led by giants China and India, expected to outpace Africa's growth. The continent's robust growth forecast is driven by a combination of factors, including the resilience and dynamism of East African nations like Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania, which are anticipated to lead in terms of economic expansion.

The EIU's comprehensive analysis in its "Africa Outlook 2024: Strong Growth Amid Heated Elections and Financial Woes" report underscores Africa's ability to navigate through recent global challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical tensions. The continent's natural resource wealth, alongside significant investments in sectors critical for the global energy transition and digital transformation, is expected to fuel its economic engines. However, the EIU also cautions about the potential risks associated with high levels of external debt, which could pose challenges to achieving the projected growth targets.

Africa's economic landscape in 2024 is characterized by a vibrant services sector in East Africa, contributing significantly to the region's growth through sectors such as travel, tourism, and telecommunications. The continent's resource-intensive economies are also expected to benefit from the high demand and prices for African hydrocarbons, minerals, and agricultural produce. Nevertheless, the concern over excessive external debt and the impending financial obligations, such as Kenya's Eurobond redemption, highlight the need for prudent financial management and possibly external debt restructuring to maintain economic stability and growth.

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