WORLD BANK / AFRICA ECONOMY

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ENGLISH 11-Oct-2017 00:02:28
The World Bank said economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is recovering at a modest pace with the rebound being led by the region’s largest economies. WORLD BANK
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STORY: WORLD BANK / AFRICA ECONOMY
TRT: 02:28
SOURCE: WORLD BANK
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 10 OCTOBER 2017, WASHINGTON DC / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE – 21 JANUARY 2017, DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA

1. Aerial shots, bus terminal

FILE – 26 FEBRUARY 2015, DAKAR, SENEGAL

2. Med shot, women walking at university
3. Med shot, women looking at computer

FILE – 17 AUGUST 2017, TEMA PORT, GHANA

4. Various shots, cranes operating

10 OCTOBER 2017, WASHINGTON DC

5. SOUNDBITE (English) Punam Chuhan-Pole, Lead Author of Africa’s Pulse, World Bank:
“The growth in the region is being led by the largest economies. In the second quarter of 2017, Nigeria exited a five-quarter recession, and South Africa emerged from two consecutive quarters of negative growth. Angola is also seeing a pick-up in economic activity. Elsewhere in the region, there is considerable heterogeneity in growth performance. Metal exporters are seeing a boost in economic activity supported by higher production in mining, as well as a recovery in agriculture.”

26 AUGUST 2015, YAMOUSSOUKRO, COTE D'IVOIRE

6. Tilt up, rice field
7. Wide shot, man walking through rice field

10 OCTOBER 2017, WASHINGTON DC

8. SOUNDBITE (English) Albert Zeufack, Chief Economist, World Bank Africa Region:
“We’re now projecting a GDP growth rate of 2.4 percent, which is almost double of what we had last year. What is new here is the return in capital flows to the continent, especially equity, signalling somewhat the return of investor’s confidence. But what is happening however, is that we are still in a very, very tight situation when it comes to fiscal space; and debt has been increasing in a number of countries, and it is therefore so important and imperative for our countries to continue with proper fiscal adjustments but also implement structural reforms that will strengthen Africa’s resilience and boost productivity.”

FILE – 17 AUGUST 2017, TEMA PORT, GHANA

9. Wide shot, construction workers and equipment
10. Wide shot, boat on the water
11. Wide shot, truck with large rocks for transport

STORYLINE:

The World Bank said economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is recovering at a modest pace with the rebound being led by the region’s largest economies.

In its latest edition of “Africa’s Pulse”, the World Bank projected growth in the region to pick up to 2.4 percent in 2017 from 1.3 percent in 2016, but still below the April forecast of 2.6 percent.

The new Africa’s Pulse, a bi-annual analysis of the state of African economies conducted by the World Bank, revealed that Nigeria pulled out of a five-quarter recession and South Africa emerged from two consecutive quarters of negative growth in the second quarter of this year. It said improving global conditions, including rising energy and metals prices and increased capital inflows, have helped support the recovery in regional growth. However, the report warned that the pace of the recovery remains sluggish and will be insufficient to lift per capita income in 2017.

The World Bank said growth continues to be multispeed across the region. In non-resource intensive countries such as Ethiopia and Senegal, growth remains broadly stable supported by infrastructure investments and increased crop production. In metal exporting countries, an increase in output and investment in the mining sector amid rising metals prices has enabled a rebound in activity.

The analysis also found that headline inflation slowed across the region in 2017 amid stable exchange rates and slowing food price inflation due to higher food production. Fiscal deficits have narrowed, but continue to be high, as fiscal adjustment measures remain partial and, as a result, government debt remains elevated. The World Bank said additional efforts are needed to address revenue shortfalls and contain spending to improve fiscal balances across the region.

Looking ahead, the World Bank projected that Sub-Saharan Africa will see a moderate increase in economic activity, with growth rising to 3.2% in 2018 and 3.5% in 2019 as commodity prices firm and domestic demand gradually gains ground, helped by slowing inflation and monetary policy easing. However, growth prospects will remain weak in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) countries as they struggle to adjust to low oil prices.

The economic expansion in West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) countries is expected to proceed at a strong pace on the back of solid public investment growth, led by Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal. Elsewhere, growth is projected to firm in Tanzania on a rebound in investment growth and recover in Kenya, as inflation eases. Ethiopia is likely to remain the fastest-growing economy in the region, although public investment is expected to slow down.

Analysis shows that rising capital accumulation has been accompanied by falling efficiency of investment spending in countries where economic growth has been less resilient to exogenous shocks. This suggests that the inefficiency of investment, which reflects insufficient skills and other capabilities for the adoption of new technologies, distortive policies, and resource misallocation, among other things, will need to be reduced if countries are to capture fully the benefits of higher investment.

As African countries seek new drivers of sustained inclusive growth, attention to skills building is growing. The Africa’s Pulse report dedicated a special section to analysing how African countries, through smarter investments in foundational skills for children, youth, and adults, can leverage spending to achieve better learning outcomes that will simultaneously enhance productivity growth, inclusion, and the adaptability of Africa’s workers to the demands of today’s markets and those of the future.

The World Bank said skills-building efforts in most countries must strive to make spending smarter to ensure greater efficiency and better outcomes. Countries face two hard choices in balancing their skills portfolios: striking the right balance between overall productivity growth and inclusion, on the one hand, and investing in the skills of today’s workforce and tomorrow’s workforce, on the other hand.

Investing in the foundational skills of children, youth, and adults is the most effective strategy to enhance productivity growth, inclusion, and adaptability simultaneously. Thus, the World Bank said all countries should prioritize building universal foundational skills for the workers of today and tomorrow.
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WORLD BANK
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