African growth picks up but debt a concern, says IMF

Growth across sub-Saharan African will rise to 3.4% this year from 2.8% in 2017, but in the continent’s poorest countries, debt is a major burden, the IMF said on Tuesday.

Top performers are Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Rwanda, Senegal and Tanzania, the International Monetary Fund said.

Their economies expanded by six per cent or more in 2017 and will maintain strong growth over the medium term, it said.

The star is Ethiopia, which notched up 10.9% growth in gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017, and is expected to enjoy 8.5% this year.

At the other end of the scale lie 12 countries, home to about a third of sub-Saharan Africa’s population.

Last year, per-capita incomes declined in these economies – a trend that is likely to happen in most of them in 2018, it said.

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