Growth in sub-Saharan Africa’s big economies will be mixed into 2022, after a year of recovery from COVID-19 lockdowns, as life slowly returns to normal amid low vaccination rates, a Reuters poll found on Wednesday.
But the pace of recovery is largely positive, according to the poll, conducted from Oct. 19-26.
Growth in Nigeria – Africa’s biggest economy – was expected at 2.7% next year from 2.5% this year after a negative shock of almost 2% last year.
Kenya – east Africa’s biggest economy – will grow 5.3% next year from 5.1% this year, the poll found. The International Monetary Fund reckons it probably shrank 0.3% last year.
Ghana was expected to grow 5.1% next year from an estimated 4.2%. Like South Africa, Zambia was expected to slow, to 2.5% next year from an estimate of 3.2% in 2021.
Weighing on economic recoveries, Africa still needs to inoculate much of its 1.3 billion people, who have had far less access to vaccines than more prosperous regions.
Only about 8.4% of Africa’s population has received at least one dose, compared to the global average of 48.7%, according to the World Health Organization.
South Africa was estimated to have expanded 5% this year, but that will slow to 2.2% growth in 2022. It experienced one of the biggest contractions on the continent last year, which the IMF estimated at 6.4%.
The IMF expects sub-Saharan Africa to grow 3.7% in 2021 and 3.8% in 2022.