Nigeria and South Africa holding Africa back – IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has blamed the struggling economies of Nigeria and South Africa for hindering the economic growth of the Sub-Saharan Africa region.

In its ‘Regional Economic Outlook’ released yesterday, the IMF estimates that the aggregate growth of Sub-Saharan Africa will increase to 3.5% in 2019 from 3% in 2018.

“[It will] stabilise at slightly below 4% over the medium term – or about 5%, excluding the two major economies, Nigeria and South Africa,” according to the report.

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde added that although economic growth in most parts of the region was expected to increase by 5% or more, most of these countries were “non-resource-intensive”. 

“The remaining countries, comprising mostly resource-intensive countries, are expected to fall behind,” said Lagarde in the report’s executive summary.

The combined economic growth of Nigeria and South Africa is estimated at 2.1%.

The IMF emphasised the need for intervention as both nations represented more than two thirds of the region’s total population. 

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