Africa economic growth not enough to tackle poverty – AfDB

Africa's economy has shown resilience overall despite global conditions but growth needs to be in double digits to truly tackle poverty on the continent, the African Development Bank (AfDB) said on Thursday.
Dr Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), says Africa loses between seven billion dollars and 15 billion dollars annually due to climate change.
President of the African Development Bank (AFDB) Akinwumi Adesina delivers his speech at the opening of the African Development Bank (AFDB) annual meeting in Nairobi on May 29, 2024. (Photo by SIMON MAINA / AFP)
President of the African Development Bank (AFDB) Akinwumi Adesina delivers his speech at the opening of the African Development Bank (AFDB) annual meeting in Nairobi on May 29, 2024. (Photo by SIMON MAINA / AFP)

Africa’s economy has shown resilience overall despite global conditions but growth needs to be in double digits to truly tackle poverty on the continent, the African Development Bank (AfDB) said on Thursday.
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The pan-African economic institution also emphasised the need to create more jobs and further industrialise, during a presentation on Africa’s economic outlook at the bank’s annual meetings in Nairobi.

“African economies are operating like everybody else within a very, very challenging global context,” AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina said.

He noted high inflation and the war in Ukraine as well as the difficulties — and costs — faced by African nations seeking to raise money on global capital markets.

“Despite all of these headwinds… African economies have done pretty well,” Adesina said.
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The bank is forecasting overall African economic growth at 4.3 percent next year from an estimated 3.7 percent in 2024 and 3.1 percent last year.

And it says 10 out of the 20 fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa.

But Adesina warned: “We need to be very clear as well, that just having real GDP growth at that level is not enough to be able to get our hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.

“We believe that African economies ought to be growing at double digits for probably the next decade or so to be able to have the kind of transformation that we need as a continent.”

In 2023, more than 460 million of the 1.2 million people in sub-Saharan Africa were considered extremely poor by the World Bank.
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The AfDB estimates that between 10 and 20 million young Africans join the job market each year, while only three million new jobs are available.

“We have to make sure that our growth is also delivering value for the youth and for the women,” Adesina said.

“We don’t eat GDP. Doesn’t matter how (good) that GDP is. We have to make sure that it’s creating jobs, quality jobs.”

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