Africa's Pulse

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Africa’s Pulse is a biannual publication containing an analysis of the near-term macroeconomic outlook for the region. Each issue also includes a section focusing upon a topic that represents a particular development challenge for the continent. It is produced by the Office of the Chief Economist for the Africa Region of the World Bank.

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  • Publication
    Africa's Pulse, No. 15, April 2017
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-04) World Bank Group
    Economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to recover to 2.6 percent in 2017, following a marked deceleration in 2016. The upturn in economic activity is expected to continue in 2018-19, reflecting improvements in commodity prices, a pickup in global growth, and more supportive domestic conditions. The pace of the recovery remains weak, however, as the region's three largest economies – Angola, Nigeria, and South Africa – are projected to post only a modest rebound in growth following a sharp slowdown in 2016. Investment growth will recover only gradually, amid tight foreign exchange liquidity conditions in major oil exporters and low investor confidence in South Africa. Growth will be limited in several metals exporters, as well as in oil exporters in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community, as these countries embark on fiscal adjustment to stabilize their economies. Among non-resource intensive countries, such as Ethiopia, Senegal, and Tanzania, growth is expected to remain generally solid, supported by domestic demand.
  • Publication
    Africa's Pulse, No.13, April 2016
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-04-11) Chuhan-Pole, Punam; Calderon, Cesar; Kambou, Gerard; Boreux, Sebastien; Buitano, Mapi M.; Korman, Vijdan; Kubota, Megumi; Lopez-Monti, Rafael M.
    Urbanization is a source of dynamism that can enhance productivity and increase economic integration, a principle evident from the experience of today’s high-income countries and rapidly emerging economies. Indeed, during the Industrial Age, no country has achieved sustained increases in national income without urbanization. If well managed, cities can help countries accelerate growth and “open the doors” to global markets in two ways: by creating productive environments that attract international investment and increase economic efficiency; and by creating livable environments that prevent urban costs from rising excessively with increased densification. By generating agglomeration economies, cities can enhance productivity and spur innovation and national economic diversification. The underlying reason for this is economic density. This report includes the following highlights: growth will remain lackluster in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2016, weighed down by low and volatile commodity prices; addressing growing economic vulnerabilities and developing new sources of sustainable, inclusive growth are key priorities for the region; and Africa’s rapid urbanization offers a potential springboard for economic diversification. But building cities that work will require reforming land markets and urban regulations, and coordinating early infrastructure investments.