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Urbanisation key to Africa’s growth, says AfDB

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The president of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Akinwumi Adesina of Nigeria

The president of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Akinwumi Adesina of Nigeria

How Africa urbanises is critical to the continent’s future growth and development, according to the African Economic Outlook 2016 released yesterday at the African Development Bank (AfDB) group’s 51st Annual Meetings.

The continent’s economic performance held firm in 2015 amid global headwinds and shocks. It also remained the second fastest growing economy after East Asia.

According to the report’s prudent forecast, the continent’s average growth is expected at 3.7 per cent in 2016 and to pick up to 4.5 per cent in 2017, provided the world economy strengthens and commodity prices gradually recover.

In 2015, net financial flows to Africa were estimated at $208 billion, 1.8 per cent lower than 2014 due to a contraction in investment.

At $56 billion in 2015, however, official development assistance increased by four per cent and remittances remained the most stable and important single source of external finance at $64 billion in 2015.

The 424-page document highlighted that “in resource-rich countries like Nigeria, growth slowed down as lower commodity prices strained government budgets and affected investments. Manufacturing activity improved in a few countries but was limited by persistent power shortages.”

Speaking after the launch of the report, AFDB President, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina said, “Turning Africa’s steady resilience into better lives for Africans requires strong policy action to promote faster and more inclusive growth.


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