This is according to the 16th edition of the African Pulse a bi-annual analysis of the state of African economies conducted by the Bank which noted that although the continent is recovering it is at a very slow pace as this follows a growth of 1.3% in 2016.
Nigeria and South Africa are said to have exerted a recession with the former pulling out of a 5 quarter recession in the second quarter of this year and the latter emerging from 2 consecutive quarters of negative growth.
The publication projected a moderate increase in economic activity with growth rising to 3.2 in 2018 and 3.5 in 2019 a trend attributed to firm commodity prices and domestic demand gradually gaining ground.
Speaking through a video conference from Washington on Wednesday the Bank’s Chief Economist for Africa Albert Zeufack, called for additional efforts to address revenue shortfalls and prudent spending.
“Most countries do not have significant wiggle room when it comes to having enough fiscal space to cope with economic volatility.
“It is imperative that countries adopt appropriate fiscal policies and structural measures now to strengthen economic resilience boost productivity increase investment and promote diversification,” noted the Chief Economist for Africa.
He bemoaned the lack of a diversified economy and described it as a risk to Africa’s growth.
Zeufack cited political and policy uncertainty on the continent as some of the factors which African governments need to urgently address.
He also emphasized on the need to increase efficiency of spending in education particularly in literacy and numerical skills to help the youth seize job opportunities for the future.
The publication noted that as countries seek new drivers of sustained inclusive growth attention should be given to skills building by investing in children the youth and adults to achieve learning outcomes which will enhance productivity growth inclusion and worker’s adaptability to market demands.
The report urged countries to strike a balance between overall productivity growth and inclusion and investing in the skills of today’s and tomorrow’s workforce.