Restarting Sub-Saharan Africa’s Growth Engine


From a new IMF Regional Economic Outlook on Sub-Saharan Africa

“After nearly two decades of strong growth, average economic activity in sub-Saharan Africa has decelerated sharply, against the backdrop of lower commodity prices, a less-supportive global environment, and, in the hardest-hit countries, a delayed policy response (Chapter 1). However, the full picture is more complex, with considerable heterogeneity across countries. Against this backdrop, two related questions arise: How can growth be revived in the hardest-hit countries? And for countries that are still growing fast, how can growth be sustained?

This chapter tries to answer these questions by examining the growth performance of sub-Saharan African countries through the lens of growth turning points and periods of sustained growth episodes using a sample containing data from 1950 to 2016.1 To that effect, the chapter first documents the stylized facts of growth turning points—defined here as growth accelerations (up-breaks) and decelerations (down-breaks)—and sustained growth episodes (growth spells) across the region and vis-à-vis the rest of the world. The chapter then examines the changes in both the external and domestic environment (including policies) that coincided with turning points in sub-Saharan Africa. Finally, the chapter investigates how some episodes of growth acceleration become periods of sustained growth, and what influences the duration of these episodes.”

Continue reading here.



Posted by at 3:14 PM

Labels: Macro Demystified


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